Three companies have been prosecuted for producing “beef jerky” that does not contain any beef. Prosecutors in Wenzhou’s Ruian court pressed charges against Ruian Lianxi Food, Ruian Chengjia Food and Guangzhou Siwei Food and their owners for using pork and food additives in their beef products and selling them across the country, state media CCTV reported. The case came to light on Monday when Guangzhou inspectors found little protein content and almost no meat in the beef jerky produced under the brand name Yisi, which has been on the market for more than 20 years. Police investigations found that the accused allegedly soaked pork in water to enlarge its fibre to resemble beef fibre and added various additives to the meat, including beef extract to make it taste like beef. Experts have warned that consuming too much food additives over time is unhealthy and may cause cancer, Xian-based City Express newspaper reported. Police seized 30 tonnes of the fake beef jerky and a large amount of food additives from the three companies. The companies said they believed that the meat they used was safe and that they had used pork in the product because it cost half the price of beef. Guangzhou Siwei Food is owned by a man identified only by his surname Zhang. He took over the firm, which had owned beef jerky brand Yisi for about two decades, in 2007. Zhang then hired his relatives to run the company and started two new firms in Ruian. In 2011, he hired his brother-in-law to start Ruian Lianxi, and the brother-in-law bought pork from Fujian province and packaged it for sale under the Yisi brand. In 2012, he hired his sister to start Ruian Chengjia, which produced and sold the fake beef jerky in a similar manner. Prosecutors will announce the verdict at a later date.