Soft-Shell Turtles Adulteration Process Exposed

August 29, 2008 2:42 am Last Updated: October 1, 2015 10:51 pm
A woman displays her best soft-shell turtle to a potential customer at a seafood market in downtown Beijing. (AFP/Getty Images)
A woman displays her best soft-shell turtle to a potential customer at a seafood market in downtown Beijing. (AFP/Getty Images)

A posting on a mainland China BBS entitled, “The shocking adulteration of soft-shell turtles” by a Web user with the username, “The Third Grader” exposed the process of injecting water into the creatures and attracted more than 200,000 on-line responses.

Soft-shell turtles are famous and expensive because they are used to make Chinese dishes and are very nutritious according to Chinese medicine.

“You would not believe it if you don’t see it. Once you see it, you’ll be shocked! In a Wuhan City market, every day there are many people busy injecting soft-shell turtles with water for profit,” wrote the posting.

“With a hose connecting to the faucet on one end, the other end is connected with an adapter to a needle. Under the water pressure, tiny water stream shoots out of the needle. When the needle makes its way into the soft-shell turtle, the creature’s legs kick around and neck struggles out of the shell. Gradually, the body enlarges and the struggles subside. One after another, adulterated soft-shell turtles are packed into a string bag. Each bag holds a few dozen soft shell turtles. In bulk, they are shipped to retailers. The retailers are pleased to order these 'sub-quality items'—to buy at low price and to sell at high price due to them having more weight. With a mutual understanding, the buyers and the sells are both happy with the profit.”

The posting also mentioned, “Consumers should be aware: the adulterated soft-shell turtles have both legs and head sticking out of the shell and look swollen. After the injection, the creature dies easily due to infection and injured organs. Consumers should lay the soft-shell turtles on their back to see if they are able to turn quickly. Also, check the muscles for any sign of a needle wound.”

Immediately after the posting was published, it attracted more than 200,000 comments.

According to many of the comments, people have been using tainted food products for quite some time and selling them and also many other products, such as beef and chicken have been adulterated as well due to rising costs in goods. They are also injected with hormones as well, according to some users.

Read the original article in Chinese