China has banned the production, sale and use of clenbuterol tablets, a medicine used to treat bronchial asthma that has also been illegally used by farmers to make their pigs leaner.
The decision was made after an overall consideration of the risks of drug abuse and the drug's clinical value and safety risks, the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) said on Friday.
Existing clenbuterol tablets will be destroyed under the supervision of local food and drug authorities.
Food safety and public security authorities have stepped up their efforts to crack down on the illegal use of clenbuterol this year, following a string of cases in which farmers were found to be illegally using the drug as a fat-burning additive in pig feed.
A total of 989 people involved in the manufacture and sale of clenbuterol were arrested as of the end of August, according to the Ministry of Public Security. The SFDA said that all clenbuterol supplies involved in the food safety violations were produced by underground drug factories and did not come from licensed pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Friday September 13, 2011/ Xinhua News/ China.