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China Deters Sales of Medicines with Poisonous Coni-Snap Capsules

04-16 10:55 Caijing
China's food and drug administration has deterred sales of 13 kinds of medicine after the country’s news outlets reported plus-standard levels of a toxic chemical element in their coni-snap capsules

China's food and drug administration has deterred sales of 13 kinds of medicines after the country’s news outlets reported plus-standard levels of a toxic chemical element in their coni-snap capsules, according to an emergency statement issued by the authority on its website.

A weekly food safety program broadcast by the official CCTV reported on Sunday that authorizes had detected excessive levels of chromium in coni-snap capsules for 13 batches of medicines produced by nine pharmaceutical companies across the country including some big names such as Xiuzheng Pharmaceutical Group.

The coni-snap capsules were suspected being made from industrial wastes in tanneries, instead of edible gelatin required by the laws, according to the report.

Chromium can be toxic and carcinogenic with easy access to human cells, leading to damages to liver, kidney and even genetic mutations.

The level of chromium in Xiuzheng’s medicine was 4.4 mg for per kg, exceeding the government’s standard of 2mg/kg.

Police on the move

Police in Xinchang, a county in southern Chinese province of Zhejiang, had detained four suspects for producing toxic coni-snap capsules, and closing down several illegal producers ending 18:00 on Sunday, a few hours after the report, Xinhua’s news portal said, quoting local officials.

Local authorities said they would suspend production for coni-snap capsules makers in the county temporarily for inspection, and “no illegal production would be condoned”, according to Xinhuanet.com.

In North China’s Hebei Province, a fire broke out in a factory reportedly producing illegal coni-snap capsules, just before police arrived at 15:00 on Sunday. The cause of the fire is stll unknown, China Network Television reported.

Public anger

Angry comments have flooded Chinese Internet after the news spread quickly on Weibo, China’s most popular microblogging site and other forums.

A weibo post by “Weizazhi”( in Chinese “微杂志”) mocked Xiuzheng company’s slogan “medicine with conscience, trustworthy and helpful” by asking “if this is the biggest lame joke for the year”.

Hackers attacked the official website of Xiuzheng yesterday, leaving a message on the website, saying that “it is so hard being alive” in China surrounded by gutter oil, poisonous milk, pesticide residue in fruits and vegetables and polluted air. The website has returned to normal by the press time.

Rumors spread last week that a kind of traditional yoghourt in Beijing was also made from industrial gelatin, things like those in leather shoes. Public disquiet over food safety has been mounting in recent years, with food scandals occur regularly in China.

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