|A turbot fish that was found to contain excessive amounts of
The government Tuesday moved to allay public fears after a series of
food-safety scares, the latest of which centred on turbot fish that was found to contain
excessive amounts of carcinogens.
Many major ci ties including Beijing have banned the sales of turbot in
markets and restaurants after Shanghai announced over the weekend that it
had detected excessive residues of nitrofuran and chloromycetin in 30
samples of turbot. The fish are believed to have been shipped from
Some farmers reportedly fed the fish with large quantities of medicinal
supplements, which leave harmful, cancer-causing residues, to increase
their disease resistance.
The Ministry of Commerce said yesterday that it was drafting a
regulation to standardize food safety procedures under which markets need
to keep a record of the supply chain and ban unregistered suppliers.
The Ministry of Agriculture and the State Food and Drug Administration
(SFDA) have set up a team to investigate the source of contaminated turbot
in Shandong. The SFDA has also ordered local offices in such areas as
Jiangsu, Hebei, Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong, Liaoning, and Tianjin to
closely monitor the situation.
In Shandong, where the annual turbot output is estimated at about
45,000 tons worth 3 billion yuan (US$375 million), an official surnamed Fu
told China Daily: "We are tracing the source of the fish and will announce
the result in a week."
The turbot is a flat fish typically served at banquets and
upscale restaurants and is
popular with both Chinese and foreigners. A serving costs between 70 yuan
(US$8.75) and 150 yuan (US$18.75) per 500 grams.
Last week, more than 5,000 ducks were culled in Hebei after it was
found that farmers fed them cancer-causing dye Sudan Red IV to make the egg yolk a