New rice contamination reported in China

Authorities are investigating rice mills in southern China following tests that found almost half of the staple grain in one of the country's largest cities was contaminated with a toxic metal.

The mills in Hunan province's Youxian county were ordered to suspend business and recall their products after samples showed excessive levels of cadmium, according to an official notice issued Tuesday by the county government.

It said the mills had been operating legally and sourced their rice from local farmers.

The announcement followed reports over the weekend that government inspectors discovered that 44.4 percent of rice and rice products tested this year in the southern city of Guangzhou in Guangdong province showed high levels of cadmium. The carcinogenic metal can seriously damage the kidneys and cause other health problems.

Hunan is a heavily agricultural province that borders on Guangdong, although it wasn't clear if there was a direct connection between the mills and Guangzhou's tainted rice.

While investigations are continuing, cadmium is believed to have entered the rice from soil polluted with . Air and are chronic problems in China, caused by poor regulation of industrial emissions and heavy dependence on coal to generate electricity.

China's food supply also suffers from deliberate faking or adulterating by unscrupulous operators, leading to occasional public panic over products from infant formula to cooking oil and a deep lack of trust in the government's ability to ensure food safety.

In one of the worst scandals, at least six babies died and 300,000 became sick in 2008 after being fed milk powder tainted with the industrial chemical melamine, which was illegally added to watered-down dairy products to make their appear normal.

5 /5 (4 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Denmark warns against rice for children

May 15, 2013

Denmark's Veterinary and Food Administration said Wednesday that parents should stop giving their children rice cakes and rice milk, saying the products contained unacceptable levels of inorganic arsenic.

Cancer-causing toxin found in Chinese baby formula

Jul 23, 2012

A Chinese dairy has been ordered to suspend production after a cancer-causing toxin was found in its infant formula, China's quality watchdog said Monday, in the country's latest milk scare.

China rice laced with heavy metals: report

Feb 16, 2011

Up to 10 percent of rice grown in China is contaminated with harmful heavy metals but little has been done to highlight the possible public health risks, a report said.

Toxin found in Chinese milk

Dec 26, 2011

China has discovered excessive levels of a cancer-causing toxin in milk produced by one of the nation's leading dairy companies, the firm said, in the latest in a series of food safety alarms.

More melamine-tainted milk products found in China

Jan 25, 2010

(AP) -- Melamine-tainted dairy products were pulled from convenience store shelves in southern China more than a year after hundreds of thousands of children had been sickened in a massive milk safety scandal, a government ...

Recommended for you

Report highlights progress, challenges in health IT

12 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Progress has been made toward widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), although there are still barriers to adoption of advanced use of EHRs, according to a report published ...

Training your brain to prefer healthy foods

12 hours ago

It may be possible to train the brain to prefer healthy low-calorie foods over unhealthy higher-calorie foods, according to new research by scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center ...

Outdoor enthusiasts need a lightning plan

12 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Those partaking in outdoor sports and activities need to be aware of the threat posed by lightning and take appropriate safety measures, experts say.

User comments