by Srilakshmi on  November 19, 2006 at 5:17 PM Diet & Nutrition News
Fear Of Cancer Due To Duck Egg Contamination In China
In China, duck eggs with red yolk are considered to be more nutritious and therefore expensive too. But not all red yolk eggs are natural - says a recent investigations.

Recently, Chinese health officials were panicked by an investigation that found that the red color found in many duck eggs is actually caused by a cancer-causing agent known as Sudan Red I, a toxic industrial colorant, being used by Farmers illegally.

Artificial colors are commonly used in many foods, legally or otherwise. In US, artificial red colors are used in farmed salmon and in China, where Food is one of its biggest industry accounting to an annual output of 1.6 trillion yuan, consumers are finding problems with eating with so many contamination issues like parasite-infested snails, pork tainted with weight-loss steroids, and now duck eggs contaminated by cancer-causing dye.

The general administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said the contaminated eggs were mainly sold in Beijing, but the panic has spread far beyond the Chinese capital.

This heated issue has resulted in South Korea announcing that it would investigate duck eggs imported from China.

It is reported that Hebei province has seized 580 kg of suspicious eggs and 800 kg of contaminated feed. At least 5,100 ducks have been culled in Pingshan country, where the cancer-causing chemical was first detected.

While consumers blame duck raisers for profiteering, many farmers feel they are victims too. Wang Tingfang, a 52-year-old farmer in Pingshan county said: "I was told the 'red drug' was high-tech product and could produce more nutritious eggs," His 1,000 ducks have been producing red yolk eggs since early 2005.

The scandal has revealed management loopholes, even though at least six government agencies are involved in food safety in China, said Zhang Yongjian, a food and drug safety specialist with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Source: Medindia

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