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July 27, 2013

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Woman dies after eating toad soup

A WOMAN who ate toad soup in a bid to cure cirrhosis of the liver died from toxins contained in the amphibians, city food safety officials reported yesterday.

The 57-year-old's husband, who is suffering from cancer, also took some of the toad soup - a traditional folk remedy - but survived following treatment.

Officials said the couple from Hongkou District asked their son to bring live toads from Rudong County of neighboring Jiangsu Province as they believed toad soup could treat their diseases.

The couple boiled the toads and ate the soup on Wednesday morning. They went to hospital in the afternoon when symptoms of poisoning began to appear.

Officials said the woman was already in a poor health and vulnerable to the toad toxins.

She died at 6pm in the hospital. Her husband is in stable condition.

"This was the first time that a person has died from eating toads in Shanghai in recent years," said Gu Zhenhua, vice director of Shanghai Food and Drug Administration.

Toads have also long been used in tradition Chinese medicine. As the amphibians live in cool, damp places, it is believed that ingredients from them can clear heat from the body, remove toxins and kill cancer tumors.

Gu warned the public against making their own toad remedies, instead advising them to follow the advice of doctors.


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