October 27, 2006


Taiwan finds banned substances in China's hairy crabs



Taiwan's health officials have detected nitropfuran in a shipment of hairy crabs exported from China, prompting the country's food standards watchdog to call for tighter quality control.


Health officials in Taiwan this week confiscated a shipment of hairy crabs from Jiangsu province's Yangcheng Lake after nearly 3 tonnes of the crab were found to contain nitrofuran, an antibiotic linked to cancer.


To ensure hairy crab exports meet hygiene standards, all inspection organisations must conduct full quality supervision, from breeding grounds to export checks, the General Administration of Quality Supervision said in a statement on its website.


China's crab farmers have defended the quality of their exports and invited the media and Taiwan's health officials to visit Yangcheng Lake to conduct further tests, according to local media reports.


China's Yangcheng Lake hairy crabs are exported to markets including Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia.


China's shipments of freshwater exports have been accused of containing various banned chemicals in recent years-- South Korean authorities have detected carcinogens in imported Chinese carp while Hong Kong authorities have discovered malachite green in farmed eels.