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HK fish scare affects sales in Shenzhen
Latest Updated by 2006-11-29 09:56:13

SALES of the popular freshwater mandarin fish dropped by over 50 percent in Shenzhen yesterday (Nov 28), after Hong Kong health authorities confirmed a large amount of mandarin fish imported from Guangdong contained the carcinogenic chemical malachite green.


However, Ho Yuk-yin, a consultant for the Center for Food Safety in Hong Kong, said later yesterday that the carcinogen level was between 0.006 and 0.34 milligrams per kilogram, which poses a very low risk to human health. Ho said he believed the presence of malachite green came about as a result of the environment, as the amount was too small to even affect fishes.


Retailers at the Futian and Buji farm produce markets, the city's two major wholesale fishery markets, said the mandarin fish had become unpopular after a local news program reported malachite green being found in the fish, and the price fell from some 50 yuan (US$6.25) to less than 30 yuan per kilogram.


As in Hong Kong, most of the mandarin fish sold in the city comes from Guangdong fish farms.


A spokesman for the Futian farm produce market estimated that sales of mandarin fish had dropped by at least 50 percent.


Wholesalers at the Buji seafood market and the Luohu aquatic product market stopped selling mandarin fish during the weekend.


Liao Min, director of the city's quality inspection center for aquatic products, told the Shenzhen Daily yesterday that samples of mandarin fish randomly taken from local wet markets are now being tested, as a matter of routine procedure.


On Monday, the city's fishery inspection center examined mandarin fish in major wet markets and supermarkets. Liang Gaoxing, director of the center, said he expected the result to become available in the next two or three days.


Mayor Xu Zongheng said at a public ceremony yesterday that the city would ensure the safety of all food exported to Hong Kong.


"The municipal government is now strengthening the inspection of farms and factories to make sure problems are discovered betimes,"Xu said.


Following a drop in demand, the Hong Kong authorities slashed the import of freshwater fish yesterday.


Editor: Wing

By:Tan Xiaomi Source:Szdaily web edition
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