Food scandal widens to oil
2011-December-30 Source: Szdaily web edition
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Guangdong authorities have recalled cooking oil products made by three companies after finding they contained the same type of cancer-causing toxin recently found in milk, State media said Thursday.

Product safety watchdog in Guangdong Province suspended operations at plants owned by the firms, which made oil containing excessive levels of aflatoxin, caused by mold, Xinhua said.

The incident came after leading dairy firm Mengniu revealed at the weekend that authorities found high levels of aflatoxin in a batch of milk before it was sold, caused by cows eating moldy feed at a farm in the southwest.

Aflatoxins, which affect grains and other agricultural products, can increase the risk of cancer, including liver cancer, according to the World Health Organization.

The oil was made from peanuts, Xinhua said, naming the producers as Fusheng Oil, Manyi Peanut Oil and Mabao Oil.

It was not known if any of the tainted oil had reached consumers, it added.

State media and Internet users, meanwhile, have blasted Mengniu over the scandal.

In an editorial Thursday, China Daily newspaper called on Mengniu to improve quality, saying the reputation of the entire dairy industry was at stake.

Milk was at the center of one of China’s biggest food safety scandals in 2008 when the industrial chemical melamine was found to have been illegally added to dairy products to give the appearance of higher protein content.

At least six babies died and another 300,000 became ill after drinking milk tainted with the chemical.

Mengniu and several other companies were implicated, and the government at the time vowed to better regulate the dairy industry.

Editor: Olivia
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