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China detains man in

Published on 27 November, 2006, Last updated at 02:20 GMT


BEIJING - China has detained a trader for his role in the sale of contaminated "red-yolk" duck eggs that have sparked fear across the country, Xinhua news agency said on Monday.

Authorities in major cities, including Beijing, found Sudan IV, a cancer-causing industrial dye, in the eggs earlier this month, red yolks being billed as a sign of extra nutrition, thus making the eggs more expensive.

Police in the northern province of Hebei, a main source of the tainted eggs, detained a man pending criminal charges for supplying Sudan IV to poultry farmers, who had mixed the dye with feed, Xinhua said, quoting the Agriculture Ministry.

A total of 10,400 ducks had been culled, 2,025 kg of duck eggs destroyed and 800 kg of feed frozen nationwide, it added.

China has been hit by a series of food safety scandals in recent years as small-time manufacturers and traders try whatever means to make a profit and get around perfunctory supervision.

Wet markets and restaurants in Beijing, financial hub Shanghai and several other cities halted the sales of turbot, a popular type of flatfish, after residue of banned fish medicine was found.

State media say Chinese fish farmers give prohibited and cheaper antibiotics regularly to their fish to ward off diseases.

Three fish farms in the coastal city of Rizhao, a major turbot producing area, and in Shandong province had been fined, ordered to suspend sales and to destroy contaminated products.


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