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April 19, 2012

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Carrefour accused of selling oilfish as cod

CARREFOUR yesterday denied an online complaint that one of its stores sold escolar, usually known as oilfish, under the name of cod to cheat customers.

A Beijing resident said in the microblog that she bought fish labeled as cod at a Carrefour outlet and her baby suffered diarrhea afterward.

"I checked, and it was not cod but oilfish, which is banned in Europe as it has high content of fat-causing indigestion," the woman said.

Local food safety officials said that oilfish is an edible fish in China, while some people may have adverse reactions if eating too much due to its high fat content. People can suffer diarrhea but not food poisoning.

The accusation spread quickly online, and some people said their family members also had diarrhea after eating the fish, which often is sold under the name of the more expensive and digestible cod. People urged the government to issue strict regulations on fish sales.

Many people said their children discharged oil into the stool after eating oilfish.

"Now I know why my daughter discharged much oil suddenly one month ago," actress Ma Yili said in her microblog. "Hospital laboratory testing found there were mostly fat in the stool. It was eating oilfish, which is sold by the name of cod."

Officials from Shanghai Carrefour said it only sells cod with the proper import certificate, and the company is contacting the netizen who issued the public scolding for more information.

The supermarket chain said it will carry out checks of its suppliers and do product testing.

Gu Zhenhua, vice director of the Shanghai Food Safety Office, said China doesn't ban the sale of oilfish but that people should be aware of possible adverse reactions to it.

There have been reports of people catching diarrhea after eating the fish in some countries and regions, including Australia and Hong Kong.

Many countries have regulations on oilfish. Japan bans them completely. The US FDA has warned consumers about potential mislabeling of oilfish, and the European Union regulates the packaging, labeling and cooking directions.

The fish is usually sold in the form of steaks.


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