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Health & Environment

China: Toxic chemicals found in “thousand-year-old eggs”


Preserved eggs (also known as thousand-year-old eggs). Photo: Edward Wong

Preserved eggs (also known as thousand-year-old eggs). Photo: Edward Wong

Thirty companies producing preserved eggs have been closed by authorities in Jiangxi province after a media exposé that toxic chemicals were used to speed up production, the country’s latest food-safety scandal.

China National Radio reported yesterday that all eggs being processed at the plants in Nanchang county had been locked away for further testing, and that authorities were still screening small processing workshops without licences.

A report by state broadcaster China Central Television on Friday showed that three plants producing preserved duck eggs, a popular delicacy also known as thousand-year eggs, were using industrial copper sulphate to halve the curing period to a month.

Two of the three plants’ licences were in order, raising concerns that the practice might be common among all processers in Nanchang county, which produces 300,000 tonnes of preserved eggs annually, or about 15 per cent of the country’s total, according to CCTV.

Industrial copper sulphate usually contains high levels of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead and cadmium, so is banned for use as a food additive. Liu Dong, of the China Food and Drug Administration, said there was no copper sulphate produced as a food additive in China, according to the broadcaster.

The eggs are usually preserved with baking soda, salt, and quicklime for about two months. The process turns yolks dark green and the egg white into a stiff, dark jelly. Using copper sulphate could significantly reduce the processing time while achieving the same effect.

A plant boss told CCTV that virtually all factories in Nanchang used the chemical.

“There won’t be a problem if you don’t eat too many of them,” the boss said.

After a string of food-safety scandals, Premier Li Keqiang vowed last month to “make the lawbreakers pay an unaffordable price for their illegal practices”.

But the public seemed unconvinced after this latest scandal.

“Why do we only learn about these food-quality problems from media reports? What are the regulators doing?” asked an internet user in an online post.

Source: SCMP – “Preserved egg plants shut in toxic chemical scandal”
 
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About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee

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