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December 30, 2011

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Recalled cooking oil not found in Shanghai

THE cooking oil that has been recalled in southern China's Guangdong Province, which is suspected of containing high doses of a carcinogenic mildew, is hardly found in the Shanghai market, local officials said yesterday.

The mildew, aflatoxin, has aroused nationwide concern after it was found in the milk products of a popular dairy.

The recall covers cooking oil produced by three companies in Guangdong Province - Fusheng Oil, Manyi Peanut Oil and Mabao Oil - that contains excessive levels of aflatoxin, officials with the Guangdong Province Bureau of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said yesterday.

The three brands, however, are rarely seen in Shanghai, the city's authorities said. The Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision said it inspected the cooking oil sold in Shanghai this summer, and all 19 batches inspected passed the test.

According to a report by the Xinhua news agency yesterday, the questioned companies' factories in Guangdong were ordered to suspend operations, their storage facilities were closed and their licenses were revoked as authorities continued the investigation. It was not immediately known how much of the three companies' tainted products entered the market, said Xinhua.

Aflatoxin is produced by a fungus that commonly grows on crops such as grains and peanuts. High levels of the toxin harms the liver and may lead to cancer in some animals. It is listed as a Class A carcinogen by the World Health Organization.

The mildew recently caught the nation's attention after it was found in high doses in dairy products from the popular Mengniu Dairy Group.

An investigation showed that the contamination was caused by mildewed feed given to cows in the dairy's plant in southwest Sichuan Province.

Mengniu on Monday issued an online public apology but insisted that the problem was discovered before the tainted milk entered the market.

It said the questioned products had all been sealed and destroyed.


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