A total of 13 common drugs in China are more likely to kill than heal, according to quality tests by China Central Television (CCTV),
The tests showed that the drugs' capsule shells were made of industrial gelatin, a non-edible substance made from hazardous "waste leather materials". Edible gelatin and industrial gelatin, of course, are both derived from boiled-down animal remains. The difference is that industrial gelatin is usually highly contaminated with chromium, a leather-tanning chemical that can damage your liver, your kidneys, and cause cancer.
Toxic gelatin scares are not unusual in China. In 2009, Southern Metropolis Daily reported that milk was being beefed up with gelatin proteins from leather scraps. Last week, a CCTV reporter posted to microblogging platform Weibo, “Comrades, please eat no more yogurt (solid type) or jelly. Especially children. The inside story is very scary. Prefer not to discuss it in detail.” And Zhu Wenqiang, a reporter from the Economic Observer, has suggested that the gelatin in yogurt comes from discarded leather shoes.
Chinese microbloggers aren't taking the news well:
田理何 writes, "Is this the so-called “Xiuzheng Pharmaceuticals, medicines with moral conscience?” (Advertising slogan of one of the pharmaceuticals)"// @吃饭才胖: Living in the Heavenly Kingdom makes you want to scream “Motherf**ker.” //
The underground workshops where old leather scraps are bleached to create industrial gelatin:
Image Source: Ministry of Tofu