(NaturalNews) The Chinese government has sentenced Gao Yanjun, a butcher from the northern city of Jinzhou, to life in prison -- and four others to up to 15 years in prison -- for illegally adding poisonous, industrial-grade nitrates to meat products they sold, in order to enhance their color and texture. In contrast to food-grade nitrates, which although it is also technically poisonous will not necessarily kill you, industrial-grade nitrates are a known chemical poison that is fatal when consumed.
According to a recent Associated Press (AP) report, a Chinese man by the last name of Sun bought roughly 75 cents worth of nitrate-contaminated pig intestine from Yanjun's butcher shop last year. Shortly after consuming it, Sun died, while his friend who had also eaten some of it was hospitalized in serious condition. It was later discovered that Yanjun had deliberately added the fertilizer chemical to his meat to help improve its appearance.
Even so-called "food-grade" nitrates are dangerous, though. Despite being a legal food additive, they are known to cause cancer and other illnesses. Consequently, many consumers are choosing to buy meats and other products that are free of nitrates, and many food producers have responded to this growing demand by replacing these food chemicals with natural food preservatives.
An extensive research study out of the University of Hawaii found that consuming nitrate-laden processed meats like hot dogs, sausage, and lunch meats, results in a 67 percent increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer (http://www.naturalnews.com/007024.html). And another study published in the journal BMC Cancer explains that children who consume processed meats with nitrates and nitrites are an astounding 74 percent more likely to develop leukemia, as well as pancreatic and colorectal cancers (http://www.naturalnews.com/News_000708_sodiu...).
Obviously industrial-grade nitrates are more deadly than food-grade nitrates, though, and the Chinese government is allegedly cracking down on this and other forms of food contamination that have blackened the nation's reputation around the world. Reports indicate that China's food safety commission is working on passing a "comprehensive food safety law" that will supposedly help curb the rampant number of consumer product contamination cases that have emerged in recent years.