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China probes preserved fruit additives

China,Business/Economy,Crime/Disaster/Accident, Thu, 26 Apr 2012 IANS

Beijing, April 26 (IANS) China's quality watchdog Wednesday ordered an inspection of the country's major fruit processing units after they were found to use excessive additives in their products.


Several firms in eastern China's Hangzhou city, including Lingjin, Meiyuan and Chaoda have violated safety standards and used excessive additives in the processing of fruits.


These products found their way to several native big-brand stores, including snack chains Laiyifen and Baiweilin, and some global retailers like Walmart.


After the exposure, Laiyifen, which is mulling a market listing, issued a statement of apology Wednesday and halted sales of preserved fruits from Hangzhou, Xinhua reported.


The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, China's quality watchdog, has ordered the local regulators to launch targeted inspections of preserved fruit producers.


Recurring scandals in China's food industry in recent years, including tainted milk and "gutter oil", have triggered anger among the public.


To address public concerns, the National Development and Reform Committee and the industry and information technology ministry Wednesday jointly unveiled a development plan for the food industry, vowing to enhance quality supervision.


China will promote the application of "Internet-of-Things" technology, under which individual items are recorded and logged online, and improve the information service mechanism that tracks food producers, according to the plan.


It said China's food industry will target an annual growth of 15 percent during the period to bring its production value to 12 trillion yuan (nearly $2 trillion) by 2015.


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