Substances commonly used as industrial dyes, insecticides and drain cleaners were included on a list of illegal released Monday as part of a monthslong government crackdown aimed at improving the country’s shoddy food safety record.
Among the 17 banned substances was boric acid, commonly used as an insecticide, which is mixed with noodles and meatballs to increase elasticity, a statement posted on the Ministry of Health Web site said. Also forbidden was industrial formaldehyde and lye, used in making soap and drain cleaner and added to water used to soak some types of dried seafood to make the products appear fresher and bigger.
A scandal over-tainted infant formula, which likely killed six babies and sickened 294,000 others earlier this year, prompted the last week.
By ANITA CHANG, Associated Press Writer
Chinese police raid an unregulated meat processing shop in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008. China has launching a four-month food safety campaign that will include inspections of food makers to weed out illegal or excessive chemicals in food, in the country’s latest move to restore trust hurt by a tainted milk scandal.(AP Photo)
The list of banned substances was released by a government committee tasked with weeding out the practice of augmenting food products with nonfood additives.were also warned to watch out for another 10 food additives that are often used excessively.
“This list provides clues for relevant departments as they carry out this campaign,” said the statement, adding that the list was not comprehensive.
The government had previously banned some of the 17 substances as separate scandals rocked the country and raised concerns over products such as milk and eggs, but the list released Monday appeared to mark the first attempt at compiling the information.
Also on the list were various industrial dyes that are added to improve the appearance of food products, ranging from to tea to cooked meats.