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Contaminated Eggs Mostly in Beijing
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An initial inspection showed contaminated duck eggs were mainly sold in Beijing, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said yesterday in the capital.

The administration ordered local officials at all levels to carry out special inspections of egg products and poultry meat after suspicions were raised that red-yolk salted duck eggs contain the industrial dye Sudan-IV. Authorities said the dye increases the risk of cancer.

Stricter inspections were carried out across Beijing in distribution and food processing firms to ensure that dangerous dyes do not contaminate eggs. About 1,158 kilograms of eggs were isolated by Beijing's food safety watchdog.

Companies found using Sudan-IV will be ordered to stop production and sales, as well as recall all products containing the dye. They are liable for prosecution and punishment.

Red Sudan dyes are used in the leather and fabric industries but are banned in food. The alleged contamination was revealed by a program on China Central Television. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, classifies Sudan dyes as Group 3 genotoxic carcinogens.

(Shanghai Daily November 17, 2006)

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