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Hunt for suspect rice

INDUSTRIAL and commercial authorities will inspect markets and shops for rice produced in Wuchang, China's northeastern Heilongjiang Province, after China Central Television broadcast a story saying it contained excess flavoring essence earlier this week.

An overnight inspection on local wholesale market yesterday, however, didn't find any products produced by the named 10 companies, the city government spokesman said today.

The Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau inspected six wholesale markets in Pudong New Area, Jiading, Putuo and Yangpu districts, finding that 55 vendors sold rice produced in Wuchang.

"The only problem found was in Jiading, where some rice that claimed to be Wuchang rice was actually produced in other provinces," said spokesman Chen Qiwei. "Officials have ordered the vendors to stop selling the rice."

The bureau said state authorities have not yet ordered a recall of the rice. Fragrant essence is not normally subject to routine tests, Chen said.


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