A TV report earlier this month that purportedly showed a Beijing seller using
softened chopped cardboard as the main ingredient in steamed buns has been
dismissed as false news.
The Beijing municipal government said last night that investigations had
found an employee surnamed Zi with Beijing Television fabricated and directed
the sensational program for higher audience ratings. Zi is being held under
The program, broadcast on July 8 on Beijing TV Life Channel, featured the
maker of the buns - or baozi - talking about how the product was made and sold
in the capital's sprawling Chaoyang District.
The report said 60 percent of the bun's ingredients were chopped cardboard
that had been soaked in caustic soda. Pork flavor and fatty meat were added to
the cardboard, it claimed.
The story gained more currency after China Central Television relayed the
program nationwide last Thursday, and added to international concerns about
However, the government announcement said that Zi had provided all the
cardboard and asked the vendor to soak it. "It's all cheating," it said.
The municipal government also said that after the report, industrial and
commercial officers inspected bun sellers across the city, but found no such
Beijing TV apologized in the announcement for failing to check the
authenticity of the report, adding it will punish editors involved and make
efforts to improve professional ethics of its staff.
(China Daily 07/19/2007 page1)