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March 19, 2012

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Merchants cheating public on food weights

SOME hypermarkets and wet markets in the city are cheating consumers on products' weight, particularly on fresh food products, Shanghai quality watchdogs say.

Officials with the Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision said in some of the hypermarkets, the weight stated on food labels included the weight of the packages.

In the Tesco Zhenbei branch in Putuo District, the weight of a pack of sea cucumbers was nearly 15 grams lighter than what the label said, forcing consumers to pay 1.2 yuan (US19 cents) more for each pack, said the bureau.

In the NGS No. 118 store, also in Putuo, 10 types of products included the package weight - cooked food, imported fruits, fresh meat, aquatic products and others.

And in some wet markets, officials found some vendors rigged electronic scales with a program written into the scales' computer chips, officials said. Yesterday in a vegetable wholesale market in Minhang District, a vendor was using a scale which could control the readout of the weight by pushing designated buttons.

Hu Jianping, an city quality official, said the cheating was subtle enough that common consumers could not tell.


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