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Gov't takes bite out of Pringles, bans US imports
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A popular potato chip has been blacklisted by China's import watchdog as two batches of Pringles imported from the United States in January and February were found to contain a chemical that may cause cancer, a Shanghai-based newspaper reported today.

The Pringles imported from the United States

The Pringles, made by Procter and Gamble, were found containing the banned substance potassium bromate in Zhuhai City, Guangdong Province, in July by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, National Business Daily said.

However, Pringles are still available in Shanghai. A shop assistant at a supermarket on Huaihai Road, Xuhui District, said they had not received any notice to remove the products from its shelves, the report said.

P&G China said most of the chips sold in the country were produced in China and they could not contain potassium bromate, the report said, citing a public relations official of the company.

The seized chips were imported directly from the United States. They may meet US standards, but could not reach the standards in China, the official added.

The official suggested that if consumers like Pringles, they should choose ones made here, the report said.

Potassium bromate is not completely banned in some countries, including the United States and Japan. The World Health Organization has suggested banning the substance for it may damage organs and nerves. Some international cancer institutions have listed the substance as a carcinogen.

China has banned the chemical's use in food processing since 2005.

All home-made puffed foods in Shanghai have been tested safe during the third quarter of last year, according to the city's Quality Inspection Bureau.

(Shanghai Daily May 7, 2008)

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