Independent test shows 'White Rabbit' candy safe

Updated: 2007-07-20 09:09

SHANGHAI -- A Shanghai food company on Thursday denied its famous "White Rabbit" candy had quality problems despite a ban on the product by the Philippine food watchdog which claims samples of the sweets were found to contain formaldehyde and other harmful substances.

The manufacturer of the White Rabbit, Guan Sheng Yuan, cited an independent report by the Shanghai branch of SGS-CSTC, a joint-venture under the Swiss-based SGS Group, the world's largest inspection and testing company, as saying that samples of the White Rabbit ready to be exported overseas and tested on Wednesday contained no toxic substances.

Weng Mao, president of Guan Sheng Yuan, said his company had asked for the testing report and the source of candy samples from the Philippine Bureau of Food and Drugs, but had received no response.

Weng expressed regret that the Philippine food authority did not offer any effective evidence before and after they released the quality report.

"We are innocent so far and we reserve the right to take legal action concerning the case," said Weng.

The company pledged in an earlier statement that no preservative had ever been used in the production of the "White Rabbit" creamy candy.

Guan Sheng Yuan said fake "White Rabbit" candy products were rampant both at home and abroad due to the growing worldwide influence of the famous brand.

The Shanghai-based candy maker said it had exported more than 800 tons of the sweet to the Philippines since 1991, but no quality problems had been found. The candy is available in some 50 countries and regions.

Shanghai's quality and technical supervision authorities said on Wednesday that they were investigating the case and would publish the results as soon as possible.

Three other products allegedly found to be tainted with formaldehyde by the Philippines are a brand of milk candy made by Romanticfish Food Co. Ltd. in Jinjiang city, east China's Fujian Province, and two grape biscuits produced by different companies based in Dongguan, Guangdong Province.

Chen Shifang, general manager with the Romanticfish which produces candies, said that his company has never exported products to any places outside China.

It is still unclear whether the candy accused of containing poisonous chemical substance was made by Romanticfish, but the company is working with relative departments to find out the fact, said Chen.

The two Guangdong-based companies have issued no response so far.

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours