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February 11, 2012

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Watchdog investigates 'rubber yolk' eggs in city

CITY watchdogs have begun an investigation after shoppers complained this week that eggs they bought had "rubber yolks."

These had previously been reported elsewhere in China, but this was the first time they had turned up in Shanghai.

Experts said they could be "fake eggs" - man-made products that look like eggs.

Other possibilities are that the rubber yolk is due to the overuse of a chicken feed ingredient or that the eggs were stored for too long at low temperatures.

Experts warned that regardless of the cause, eating such eggs could be dangerous.

The suspect eggs look the same as ordinary ones when fresh but after boiling their yolks turn rubbery.

A demonstration of this was given on local TV news on Thursday evening. A family from Minhang District who bought eggs at a hypermarket found the yolks was barely edible after the eggs were hard-boiled.

They showed the TV crew that the egg yolks bounced like rubber balls, shocking many viewers. Some people fear they may have eaten these eggs cooked in other ways.

An investigation has been launched, said the Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau yesterday, amid growing public concerns.

The bureau said it had never discovered rubber yolk eggs in market checks before.

Some experts said the yolk consistency could have been caused by excessive amounts of gossypol, a high-protein compound derived from cottonseed, in some chicken feed.

High levels of gossypol can affect fertility in men.


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