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Insiders in the yogurt and jelly industries said on Wednesday that their businesses may suffer setbacks in the next few weeks as a result of two posts on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, that have called on the public to avoid their products.
The messages, which were posted online on Monday morning, warned consumers that yogurt and jelly might contain industrial gelatin made from discarded leather shoes.
"It is certain that jelly companies will suffer sales declines in the next few weeks," Zhao Yanping, deputy secretary-general of the China Association of Bakery and Confectionery Industry, said on Wednesday.
"But so far, we cannot estimate the exact losses."
She blamed the situation on weibo, which she said hadn't provided enough evidence to support their accusations.
By Wednesday afternoon, various jelly enterprises had been ordered by local quality authorities to stop selling their products, according to a statement provided by the China National Confectionery Association.
The association will not rule out the possibility of making an appeal in court, the statement said.
But Yi Shenghua, a Beijing-based lawyer from Yingke Law Firm, said the case might not be heard.
"The people who wrote the posts didn't point out which yogurt brand or company has these troubles," Yi said. "So it will be difficult for yogurt enterprises to prove that a decline in their sales was caused by the information."
Yogurt on shelves in a supermarket in Shanghai on Monday. Provided to China Daily