Formaldehyde-tainted Chinese cabbage in Qingzhou, Shandong Province, the country's largest vegetable production base, has exposed some clandestine market practices, Xinhua reported.
In their many visits to croplands and wholesale centers, reporters found that using a formaldehyde solution has been a popular, unspoken method for keeping vegetables fresh for at least three years.
Many local farmers have turned a blind eye to the dealers' practice of treating the cabbage with a formaldehyde solution.
"It's a common practice to keep the cabbages fresh," says Yin Lihua, a cabbage farmer in Qingzhou's Dongxia township. "Otherwise, the vegetables stacked tightly in their trucks would rot in two to three days."
(China.org.cn May 9, 2012)