China bans sale of 'red' eggs
Several Chinese provinces have banned the sale of duck
eggs, because Beijing has discovered the eggs may contain an industrial red dye
that increases the risk of cancer.
Specialty duck eggs with red yolks may not be sold in Beijing, whereas all
duck eggs, regardless of yolk colour, are banned from sale in Guangzhou, the
capital of Guangdong province.
Chinese consumers pay more for eggs with red yolks as they believe the red
colour is a sign of quality and better nutrition. Some people think that the
eggs become red from the shrimp in ducks' diets.
However Hou Shuisheng, a researcher from the Chinese
Academy of Agricultural Science
, said that for ordinary eggs, â€œthe colour of
the yolk should be light yellow. Both bright yellow and bright red yolks are not
natural, so it is certain that some dyes have been addedâ€.
Initial test results showed Sudan-IV dye made up 46.5 percent of the 'red
drug', according to the Institute of Food Safety under the Chinese Academy of
Inspection and Quarantine.
The eggs were produced by farmers raising ducks on Baiyangdian lake, the
largest freshwater lake in Hebei, and the main suppliers of duck eggs to
Beijing's markets and supermarkets.
The dye, which is commonly used in industrial products like flooring and
shoe polish, has however contaminated food products around the world, and led to
hundreds of product recalls in the UK last year.
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