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June 3, 2011

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Suspect juice from Taiwan seized in Shanghai

SHANGHAI Food and Drug Administration officials yesterday seized a large quantity of fruit and vegetable juice from Taiwan suspected of containing a cancer-causing additive.

More than 201 barrels weighing about 400 kilograms of Taiwan Dahu Strawberry Farm fruit juice products and 28 bottles of Possmei Litchi juice were removed from two trading companies and 19 eateries in the city after tip-offs from the local entry and exit administration.

All the products, which are on a list of items banned by the Chinese mainland because they might contain DEHP, an illegal thickener, were sealed. Most of the products were fruit or vegetable concentrates restaurants use to mix with their own juice to add taste and color.

The Shanghai FDA is requiring city restaurants to conduct self-checks based on the banned list of DEHP-tainted products announced by the national authorities and it is conducting its own checks across the city.

Any products on the list will be sealed up immediately whenever they are detected, officials said.

"We will cooperate with the local industrial and commercial administrative bureau to conduct thorough checks to ensure all tainted drinks and products are caught and sealed up to protect local people's health and safety," said the Shanghai FDA's Du Bing.

On Wednesday, the General Administration of Quality, Inspection and Quarantine issued a blacklist of 10 brands, including Uni-President and Possmei, of products such as sports drinks, fruit juice, tea drinks, jam and food additives.

Food imported from Taiwan must now hold a DEHP-free certificate before it is allowed into the mainland, the quality watchdog said.

So far more than 700 types of drinks and food in Taiwan have been found to contain DEHP, which was used by illegal producers to replace palm oil as a thickener, or clouding agent, usually in fruit juice jelly, yogurt mix powder, juices, sports drinks and other beverages.


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