China find problematic foods, fake blood protein

Updated: 2007-07-03 14:26

BEIJING -- Chinese inspectors found dozens of children's snacks that failed food standards and seized hundreds of bottles of fake human blood protein from hospitals, officials announced Tuesday.

Inspectors in southwest China's Guangxi region found excessive additives and preservatives in nearly 40 percent of 100 children's snacks sampled during the second quarter of 2007, according to a report on China's central government Web site.

The snacks -- including soft drinks, candied fruits, gelatin desserts and some types of crackers -- were taken from 70 supermarkets, department stores and wholesale markets in seven cities in the region, it said.

Only 35 percent of gelatin desserts sampled met food standards, the report said, while two types of candied fruit contained 63 times the permitted amount of artificial sweetener.

The report did not say whether any snacks were recalled or if any manufacturers faced discipline. Calls to the Guangxi Industrial and Commercial bureau rang unanswered Tuesday.

Some 420 bottles of fake blood protein, albumin, were found at hospitals in Hubei province but none had been used to treat patients, Liu Jinai, an official with the inspection division of the provincial food and drug administration, said in a telephone interview. No deaths or illnesses were reported.

A shortage of albumin triggered a nationwide investigation in March into whether fakes were being sold.

In May, the country's former top drug regulator was sentenced to death for taking bribes to approve substandard medicines, including an antibiotic blamed for at least 10 deaths.

Beijing has striven to appear active in cleaning up problem areas. Inspectors recently announced they had closed 180 food factories in China in the first half of this year and seized tons of candy, pickles, crackers and seafood tainted with formaldehyde, illegal dyes and industrial wax.

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