People are making and selling counterfeit jellyfish in China

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China's Crackdown on Counterfeit Products

There are all sorts of food scams perpetrated every day here in America. The whole farm-to-table trend, for example — a lot of that is probably just marketing bullshit, according to a recent excellent investigation published by the Tampa Bay Times. But here's a fun new twist on food scams: police in Huzhou, China, recently arrested three people accused of making and selling artificial jellyfish, including a "master" jellyfish counterfeiter. AsPeople's Daily reports:

The three suspects started making the fake delicacy with sodium alginate, calcium chloride and aluminum sulfate in June of 2015. Since then, they have made more than 70,000 yuan in profits. Yuan was aware that the fake jellyfish could be unhealthy or even dangerous.

However, the production cost of the artificial jellyfish was less than half the cost of processing real jellyfish. In addition, less time is required to produce artificial jellyfish than is needed to process real ones.

The article goes on to state that police recovered over a ton of the artificial sea creature. The thing is, I could see this whole scheme maybe succeeding legally in the U.S. if it were marketed as a "vegan" alternative to real jellies.

[People's Daily]

See photos of real jellyfish below:

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Moon jellyfish
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People are making and selling counterfeit jellyfish in China
Moon jellyfish swim at the Sunshine Aquarium in Tokyo Tuesday, July 3, 2012.(AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)
A Moon jellyfish is shown, Saturday, July 30, 2011 off the shores of Pompano Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Moon jellyfish are illuminated by colored lights at Kamogawa Sea World in Kamogawa, east of Tokyo, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)
Moon jellyfish are shown, Saturday, July 30, 2011 off the shores of Pompano Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 17, 2010 file photo, moon jellyfish are pictured in an aquarium of the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. It wasn't a tsunami but it had the same effect: A wave of jellyfish was huge enough to force one of the world's largest nuclear reactors to shut down — a phenomenon that marine biologists say could become more common. Operators of the Oskarshamn nuclear plant in southeastern Sweden had to scramble reactor number three on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013, after tons of jellyfish clogged the pipes that bring in cool water to the plant's turbines. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File)
Two moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) swim in an aquarium of the Zoo in Berlin, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009. They are natives to the North- and Baltic Sea. (AP Photo/Franka Bruns)
Ohrenquallen (Aurelia aurita) schwimmen in einem Aquarium im Zoo von Basel, am Mittwoch, 8. November 2006. (AP Photo/Keystone, Georgios Kefalas) --- Moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) are seen in an Aquarium of the Basel, Switzerland, Zoo on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2006. (AP Photo/Keystone, Georgios Kefalas)
An animal keeper of the Budapest Zoo feeds a moon-jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) with a syringe containing brine shrimp during an experimental program to display these extremely sensitive animals in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, March 11, 2008. The body of the moon-jellyfish, found in tropical waters, is composed of 95 percent water and it can grow to a diameter of 40 cm (16 inch). Keeping these animals is very difficult as their bodies are very fragile and can be harmed even by bubbles of air. Because of this sensitivity and the difficulties of reproducing oceanic conditions in the zoo, the moon-jellyfish have to be fed individually. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)
With a huge image of Moon Jellyfish is lit on the ceiling above, visitors enjoy watching the jellyfish fantasy hall at Enoshima Aquarium in Fujisawa, southwest of Tokyo, Sunday, July 23, 2006. A 49-year-old aquarium displays variety of specimens of nearby Sagami Bay and the Pacific Ocean. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)
With a huge image of Moon Jellyfish is lit on the ceiling above, visitors enjoy watching the jellyfish fantasy hall at Enoshima Aquarium in Fujisawa, southwest of Tokyo, Sunday, July 23, 2006. A 49-year-old aquarium displays variety of specimens of nearby Sagami Bay and the Pacific Ocean. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)
Moon jellies are illuminated by colorful lights inside the fish tank at the New England Aquarium in Boston, Thursday, April 15, 2004. The aquarium will open a new jelly fish exhibit titled, " Amazing Jellies" on April 17. (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki)
Moon Jellyfish are illuminated by coloured lights at the Beijing Aquarium on May 30, 2012. The aquarium is the largest in China and shaped like a huge conch shell. State media named it a 'Beijing civilized Tourist Scenic Spot' and it houses more than 1,000 marine species and freshwater fish. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/GettyImages)
Mature Moon Jellyfish float at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, on April 26, 2012.The Aquarium features a collection of over 11,000 animals representing over 500 different species. It focuses on the Pacific Ocean in three major permanent galleries, sunny Southern California and Baja, the frigid waters of the Northern Pacific and the colorful reefs of the Tropical Pacific.The non-profit Aquarium sees 1.5 million visitors a year and has a total staff of over 900 people including more than 300 employees and about 650 volunteers.AFP PHOTO /JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/GettyImages)
SEAHOUSES, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: A Moon jellyfish swims beneath the waters of Inner Farne on June 26, 2011 at the Farne Islands, England. The Farne Islands, which are run by the National Trust, are situated two to three miles off the Northumberland coastline. The archipeligo of 16-28 separate islands (depending on the tide) make the summer home to approximately 100,000 pairs of breeding seabirds including around 36,000 Puffins, 32,000 Guillemots and 2,000 pairs of Arctic Terns. The species of birds which nest in internationally important numbers include Shag, Sandwich Tern and Arctic Tern. The coastline around The Farnes are also the breeding ground to one of Europe's largest Grey Seal colonies with around 4,000 adults giving birth to 1500 pups every year. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
A miniature Moon Jellyfish glows at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, on April 26, 2012.The Aquarium features a collection of over 11,000 animals representing over 500 different species. It focuses on the Pacific Ocean in three major permanent galleries, sunny Southern California and Baja, the frigid waters of the Northern Pacific and the colorful reefs of the Tropical Pacific.The non-profit Aquarium sees 1.5 million visitors a year and has a total staff of over 900 people including more than 300 employees and about 650 volunteers.AFP PHOTO /JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/GettyImages)
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