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. SKorea says tonnes of unsafe Chinese herbal medicine destroyed

by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) Oct 1, 2008
South Korea destroyed 871 tonnes of imported Chinese herbal medicine ingredients over the past two years because they contained excessive level of toxins, official figures showed Wednesday.

The Korea Food and Drug Administration told parliament in a report that the imports had higher than permitted amounts of heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and arsenic as well as sulphur dioxide.

South Korea last year imported 19,650 tonnes of Chinese herbs and other material for oriental medicines, 78 percent of the total imports.

The report came amid a new scare about Chinese food safety after melamine was found in infant milk formula, sickening nearly 53,000 children and killing four in China.

South Korea banned the import of all products containing Chinese powdered milk and has been inspecting 428 brands of Chinese imported food already on sale.

As of Tuesday, it had found that six of the 186 items checked so far were contaminated with melamine.

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Advance Offers Revolution In Food Safety Testing
Corvallis OR (SPX) Oct 01, 2008
Microbiologists at Oregon State University have developed a new technology to detect illness-causing bacteria - an advance that could revolutionize the food industry, improving the actual protection to consumers while avoiding the costly waste and massive recalls of products that are suspected of bacterial contamination but are perfectly safe.

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