A crackdown on meat smuggling by Beijing appears to be driving smugglers at China’s borders with Hong Kong and Vietnam to take greater risks with food safety, Reuters reported, citing interviews with smugglers, traders, customs agents and anti-smuggling officials. Seizures of smuggled meat have jumped nearly threefold this year and spurred headlines alarming to even Chinese consumers already wearily familiar with food scandals. Greater scrutiny means customs agents often no longer turn a blind eye to refrigerated trucks entering China, forcing smugglers to adopt more desperate and dangerous tactics. “People are bringing [meat] over one box at a time, just like ants moving home,” said a customs official in the city of Changsha.
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