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Prohibition comes after tainted vegetable poisons consumers

[ 2010-04-12 11:28]     字号 [] [] []  
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Food safety authorities in Qingdao, Shandong province, have temporarily halted the sale of Chinese chives after seizing almost 2 tons of pesticide-tainted chives last week.

Nine residents have reportedly been poisoned after eating toxic chives this month. They have joined hands to ask for compensation from a local food vendor.

The patients complained of headache, nausea and diarrhea after consuming dishes that contained chives at a local fast food restaurant, Qilu Evening News reported.

All of them were poisoned by organic phosphorus, a highly toxic pesticide, officials from the Qingdao Health Supervision Bureau said.

"I bought a box of fried eggs with chives for 3 yuan (40 cents) last Wednesday. My husband had two bites and my child didn't eat any. I ate all of the rest," one of the patients, surnamed Yang, was quoted as saying.

She said the poisoning symptoms appeared 15 minutes after she had the dish.

"I was not thinking about the chives at all. Instead, I wondered if I was having some heart problems. I called my husband immediately," she said.

The other patients consumed the dishes at the same restaurant.

After recovering, the nine have filed a case with the local bureau of industry and commerce, demanding compensation.

Follow up inquiries revealed the tainted chives might not be just limited to one restaurant.

Random checkups on over 2,000 batches of chives, conducted from April 2 to April 9 in three vegetable wholesale markets in Qingdao, found 1,930 kg of chives contained excessive pesticide residue.

The tainted chives have been destroyed, the industry and commerce bureau told reporters at a press conference late on Friday.

A pesticide residue rate as high as 64 percent was tested on the vegetables, and investigations traced the chives back to the city of Gaomi in Shandong province, said Yue Hao, an official with the local industrial and commerce bureau.

A visit to the three vegetable wholesale markets over the weekend found dealers had stopped selling chives, local media reported on Sunday.

Several randomly interviewed passers-by said they would not eat any chives for a while. Dealers said they had stopped selling the vegetable last Friday, citing a prohibition from the market authorities as the reason, the report said.

However, a manager surnamed Zhang from one of the markets said there was no such prohibition, but the dealers were not selling chives as a safety measure.

"The current supervision on chives is quite strict. A problematic sample will lead to major problems."

In April 2009, media in Northeast China's Liaoning province reported that a 6-year-old girl in the provincial capital of Shenyang died after eating chives. Doctors said she was poisoned by organic phosphorus.

"The most serious pest problem for the chive plant is maggots, which live underground and nip on the plant's roots. Normally-splashed pesticides could not solve the problem, while the organic phosphorus pesticides cannot only kill the pests, but also promote the growth of the roots," said Wang Kaiyun, a professor in pesticides research at Shandong Agriculture University.


1. How many kilograms of chives were found to be toxic?

2. What were the symptoms exhibited by those consuming the toxic chives?

3. What was the pesticide rate found on the Chives?


1. 1,930 kg.

2. Headache, Nausea, Diarrhea.

3. 64 percent.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Prohibition comes after tainted vegetable poisons consumers

Prohibition comes after tainted vegetable poisons consumers

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China daily for one year.