China Bans Coca-Cola's Fanta for Contamination
May 9, 2008

SHANGHAI (AFP) China said Friday it had banned sales of a soft drink made by Coca-Cola and two flavours of Procter and Gamble's Pringles potato crisps due to fears they contained harmful substances.

China's quality control watchdog reported on its website that 593 food items imported in January and February were unfit for consumption after traces of harmful substances were found.

Two batches of Pringles potato chips, "spicy salad sauce" and "cripy baked" flavours, imported from the United States by Zhuhai-based Kangrui Trade Company were found to contain potassium bromate, a chemical which may cause cancer.

Coca-Cola's berry-flavoured Fanta soft-drink imported by Shanghai Xiaolong Information Trade Company from South Korea was also banned for containing too much benzoic acid, which can attack the liver and the kidneys.

Vietnam coffee beans from Nestle's Dongguan Branch Company were found to be infected with beetles, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China said.

Some companies were also accused of using unqualified trademarks, it said.

Firms would be fined a minimum of 50,000 yuan (7,140 dollars), and be banned from selling the named items.

Beijing has stepped up its monitoring of product safety, after a string of scandals last year over Chinese-made goods ranging from food to toys.

But despite the tightened supervision, the scares have continued.

This year at least 10 Japanese people were hospitalised after eating Chinese-made dumplings laced with pesticide, although China denies the contamination took place at one of its factories.

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