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News 213 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Illegal colorant found in Vietnamese eggs

After the detection of an illegal colorant in eggs in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, egg sales dropped with 50-70%. However, the test is not considered representative and experts are now double checking the findings.

About 2-3 months ago, a test confirmed eggs in Hanoi city were free from the toxic colorant sudan . Now, the HCMC Department of Sciences and Technology found the illegal colorant in six out of 16 chicken and duck eggs. Some eggs even had 20,000 microgam/kg. The level that is considered safe in Europe is less than 500 microgam/kg.
 
However, according to Professor Chu Pham Ngoc Son from the department, the tests were not comprehensive and not representative. He said that the small amount of eggs tested only served to ring a bell so that relevant authorities would get involved.

Illegally imported
Last November, authorities in China discovered the substance in several of its provinces. The department also suspects that the contaminated eggs in Vietnam are illegally imported from China. Son said the substance could have been added to make the yolk look more colourful to attract buyers.

Drop in egg sales
Pham Thi Huan, owner of a large, city-based egg supplier, said her sales dropped 50% on the first day the finding was announced. She said all big egg outlets bought eggs from large and trustworthy farms where animal feed is carefully selected. They also have to supply certificates concerning the feed origin and samples for testing. A businessman in Dong Nai province near Ho Chi Minh City said he had recently been offered cheap Chinese additives which hawkers said were able to make the yolk redder and chicken legs more yellow.

Another 30 samples
As of Tuesday, the city's Animal Health Department had not made any official comments on the finding. Its representatives said another 30 egg samples had been sent to a local test center, which would announce the results this week.

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