China and the Republic of Korea are to jointly investigate how
Chinese frozen eel exports came to contain carcinogenic malachite
green, a fungicide banned in food production in China, according to
a statement from China's quality watchdog on Friday.
Chinese investigators had found no information about the
producer, identified by the Republic of Korea media as Jiangxi
Yichun Eel Industry Development Co. Ltd, said the statement from
the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and
The producer had not registered with China's import and export
inspection and quarantine departments, nor was it an authorized
foreign trade dealer whose qualifications should have been
registered with commerce departments, it said.
Local fishery industry associations also failed to identify the
company during the preliminary investigation, which was started
immediately after the Chinese side learned about the incident on
Wednesday night and involved the ministries of commerce and
agriculture and the GAQSIQ.
"This appears to be an illegal export. As the tainted products
were discovered in retail sales, the Chinese side will look into
the case with the Republic of Korea and release the investigation
results in a timely way," it said.
The use of malachite green, which can cause cancer, is
prohibited in many parts of the world. China banned fish farmers
and other businesses from using the chemical as fungicide in
This is the second overseas food quality concerning Chinese-made
food in two months following the discovery of tainted frozen
dumplings, which left at least 10 people ill in Japan.
In the past two weeks, the dumpling producer, Tianyang Food
Plant, in north China's Hebei Province, has been investigated by
both Chinese and Japanese authorities, but no problems have been
found in production.
(Xinhua News Agency February 22, 2008)