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Breaking damaging rumors around food safety in China

By Wang Xiaodong | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-06-29 20:49

Chen Junshi, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a prominent food safety expert, has said rumors about food safety causes anxiety in the general public, and stated rumors could sometimes cause heavy industrial losses and should be checked. His remarks were made on Thursday.

To break popular rumors about food safety circulating on the internet in recent years – such as fruits are dyed to look better or watermelons are injected with water to gain their weight – Chen said he conducted several experiments in a booth at the China International Exhibition Center in Beijing, which was broadcast live on social media platforms, including Weibo.

Luo Yunbo, a professor in food sciences at the China Agricultural University in Beijing, said there were many reasons behind the food safety rumors in China, with some people even making rumors against certain types of food to seek profit.

"The rapid development of social media contributed to spread of such rumors, which can seriously mislead consumers and cause damage to certain sectors," he said.

Police in Jinjiang, Fujian province, have detained 18 people since February suspected of producing and spreading rumors about zicai, a type of seaweed product popular in many parts of China, who've stated some companies have made the product out of plastic.

Authorities from Jinjiang inspected all 55 producers of zicai in the city involved in the rumor and found no company has used any type of plastic as material for the product, according to the city government.

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