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March 16, 2011

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Unsavory salt scam shut down

A DANGEROUS salt scam was busted by city watchdogs yesterday as they raided two hideouts where industrial product was being repackaged for domestic use.

The industrial law enforcement team of the Shanghai Salt Administration Bureau closed an illegal operation based in rented apartments in the Dongjing area of Songjiang District.

Officials discovered 8 tons of industrial salt dumped on the ground. Workers were filling this into packages labeled refined and iodized salt.

Industrial salt contains harmful nitrite substances which can cause dizziness, stomach pains, damage kidneys and - if large quantities are consumed - lead to death.

The watchdog estimated the hideouts which had produced 11 tons of substandard salt.

Meanwhile, authorities stopped a truck about to transport 3 tons of substandard salt from an illegal operation in Jiading District. Inside the processing site, officials found about 50 tons of industrial salt illegally packaged for domestic use.

The salt watchdog said that as producing substandard salt in quantities of less than 10 tons is not against the criminal law, many illegal vendors use this loophole to escape punishment.

Table salt can sell for five times the price of industrial salt. Locals are advised to purchase salt in supermarkets.


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