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May 10, 2011

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Watchdogs look for dyed peppers

TRADE watchdogs are to test Chinese peppers on sale in the city, after complaints from consumers that some may have been dyed.

An anonymous web user published on his microblog a picture of dried green pepper he said he had just bought. It showed the pepper had been dipped in water and had turned the water green.

The web user said he made the suspicious discovery when he washed the vegetable. Concerned that the water had changed color, he rubbed the pepper with tissue, which turned the paper green.

He said he had did not think dried pepper should lose color. "I strongly suspect the pepper was dyed and I dare not use it in any dishes," he said.

Experts at Shanghai Botanical Garden confirmed dried pepper shouldn't lose color. If a fresh pepper is rubbed with tissue, residue may be left, but that should never happen to dried product, they said.

The Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau will now investigate.

The city's consumer hotline 12315 reminded shoppers yesterday that they can demand a refund if they have bought dyed peppers.

There have been other incidents concerning dyed peppers recently.

Local media has reported that in some wet markets vendors dyed peppers with red coloring to make them look better and fresher.

Earlier, in southwestern China's Chongqing Municipality, police seized near 5,000 kilograms of dyed peppers found to contain rhodamine B, a carcinogenic chemical.

More recently, dyed peppers were also found in Jingzhou, Hubei Province, and local industrial and commercial authorities are inspecting markets there.


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