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KFC food in the soup again
By Guan Xiaofeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-02 05:44

Food safety authorities in Guangdong have confirmed that a vegetable ingredient in KFC soup is poisonous.

KFC food in the soup again
A poster for the Tianluxiang Soup [newsphoto]
According to a warning from the provincial Food Safety Experts Committee released on Monday, Tianluxiang, which translates as Sweet Leaf Bush, or Sauropus androgynus, in the KFC soup is toxic and could be harmful if eaten in large quantities or regularly over a long period.

The soup was sold in KFCs in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province, and Tianjin in North China.

The committee drew three conclusions:

Tianluxiang is not suitable to be promoted as an edible vegetable;

People should avoid a long-term and regular consumption of Tianluxiang;

Occasional consumption has not been shown to be poisonous to human health.

According to recent research by Yang Xian, professor of vegetables from South China Agricultural University, Tianluxiang contains levels of cadmium four times higher the national food safety standard.

An overdose could result in damage to the liver, kidneys and reproductive systems. Yang suggested people should not consume the vegetable regularly or in large amounts.

Announcement that KFCs soup contains a potentially poisonous element has caused widespread public concern, coming just a few months after some KFC foods were found to contain the carcinogenic colouring Sudan-1.

KFC suspended sales of the soup on Friday. Its headquarters in Shanghai yesterday declined China Daily's requests for an interview.

Tianluxiang is a popular vegetable among Guangzhou residents . Many are lured by its reputation of being nutritious and some believe it helps weight loss.

It is a leafy green perennial vegetable mainly found in Southeast Asia. It also grows in South China.

(China Daily 11/02/2005 page3)

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