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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

China steps up efforts to rid food of illegal additives – 17 Substances Banned

So, I spent a few hours today on the China Ministry of Health Website looking for the press release on these banned substances.  Here is the release:

China has warned its food producers to rid their products of illegal additives in a latest move to restore trust hurt by the recent tainted milk scandal.  The notice, published Monday by a joint investigation led by the Health Ministry, the State Food and Drug Administration, and another seven government departments, blacklisted 17 nonfood substances that could be added to food production.

Illegal chemicals from past domestic food scares were among those targeted, including cancer-causing industrial dye sudan red used to color egg yolks, and melamine found in baby formula that was originally intended for use in the production of plastics.  The blacklisted substances also included carbon monoxide, industrial methanol, and opium poppy capsules, a plant from which opium can be extracted.

The notice also warned food producers against the overuse of ten additives including sodium cyclamate, an artificial sweetener used in baking and pickling that has been lined to cancer, and nitrite used as a color additive in meat products.  The blacklist is part of a four-month, nationwide investigation launched earlier this month to find illegal additives in food.  The investigation will target protein-rich foods, such as processed meat, dairy products and sauces, earlier reports said.  Products would be taken from supermarket shelves and tested for illegal or overused additives.  The investigation will focus on products made by small food factories as they are often under-supervised and do not have a self-discipline system. Among China’s 500,000 food-processing firms, 70 percent employee less than ten employees.

I count 7 not 17.  However, being in China twice helps with a few contacts.  Here is the list I just got by email:

Formaldehyde Hydrosulfite
Sudan 1
Chrysoidine 2
Melamine
Boric Acid and Borax
Sodium Thiocyanate
Acid Rhodamine B
Polychloro Copper Phthalocyanine
Basic Flavine
Acid Orange
Formaldehyde (for industry)
Sodium Hydroxide (for industry)
Carbon Monoxide
Sodium Sulfide
Sulfur (for industry)
Industrial Dye
Carapace of Poppy

  • Here’s what that list says, in short:
    我們的一切是毒藥津津樂道!

  • From my guy in China:
    Finally, here it is……all 17 of them, half probably in my system already.
    Formaldehyde Hydrosulfite
    Sudan 1
    Chrysoidine 2
    Melamine
    Boric Acid and Borax
    Sodium Thiocyanate
    Acid Rhodamine B
    Polychloro Copper Phthalocyanine
    Basic Flavine
    Acid Orange
    Formaldehyde (for industry)
    Sodium Hydroxide (for industry)
    Carbon Monoxide
    Sodium Sulfide
    Sulfur (for industry)
    Industrial Dye
    Carapace of Poppy

  • Alan Masinter

    Know of any more official source? I’ve also been looking for a well-sited source but thus far, no luck.