December 30, 2011
Cancer-Causing Mildew Found In Chinese Peanuts
Xinhua news agency reported on Friday that Chinese food safety regulators in the southern city of Shenzhen found carcinogenic mildew in peanuts and cooking oil.
Aflatoxin, the cancer-causing substance, triggered public concern this week after milk giant Mengiu Dairy Co said its Sichuan plant had destroyed products found by a government quality watchdog to contain it.
Aflatoxin occurs naturally in the environment and is produced by certain common types of fungi.
Xinhua said the Shenzhen market supervision bureau had said it found up to 4.3 times the permitted level of aflatoxin in peanuts sold in two supermarkets and one frozen food store.
The carcinogenic mildew can infect crops before harvest and during harvesting and storage. The crop then enters the food chain either directly, or indirectly through animal feed.
Food safety officials recalled cooking oil produced by three companies on Thursday in the southern Guangdong province because they may contain excessive levels of aflatoxin.
At least six children died and 300,00 became ill in China from drinking powdered milk laced with melamine in 2008.
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Mengiu Dairy Company