Chinese restaurants shut down for using opium


Narcotics police in southwestern China shuttered 215 restaurants found to be mixing opium poppy into their soups and hot pot stews, Xinhua News Agency reported Friday.
Dishes at the restaurants in Guizhou province contained varying degrees of the opium derivative morphine, the report said.

"Consuming soup or hot pots mixed with poppies for a long time will make you become addicted...and eventually lead you to drug abuse in serious cases," Wei Tao, deputy chief of the Food Institute with Guizhou Provincial Centre for Disease Control, was quoted saying.

Xinhua didn't say whether anyone was prosecuted over the narcotic-laced food. In 2002, a Beijing restaurant owner was sentenced to 18 months in prison for sprinkling ground opium poppy over a spicy fish dish.

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