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600 Tons of Fake Salt Sold in Guangzhou

Posted: 05/15/2014 8:00 am

As incredible as it sounds, you don’t need to take a grain of it with this news: Guangzhou residents may have consumed a total of 600 tons of inedible fake table salt from February until May of this year.

A report by China News on May 13 revealed the fake salt had been distributed at wholesaling markets in exchange for grains and cooking oil in the rural outskirts of Guangzhou.

A Guangzhou-based group had been producing and distributing the fake salt since February and had profited more than RMB 1 million (approximately USD $160 thousand) from the illegal trade. It’s unclear if the group had started the operation earlier than reported.

Most of the salt in question was non-iodized industrial salt, but the group packed it as iodized table salt under a brand name only revealed in the report as a single character, Yue (粤, meaning “Guangdong” or “Cantonese”).

Small consumption of iodine over a long period of time will increase the risks of contracting ailments such as thyroid nodule, a lump in the thyroid gland at the base of the neck, whereas the consumption of industrial salt, which contains excessive levels of metals, can cause more health problems.

A May 5 police raid on the fake salt production in Baiyun District led to the arrests of three suspects. At the time of the police operation, the racket was still busy processing the salt. The police confiscated more than six tons of salt, 12 bags of industrial salt and some machinery on the site.

Photos: Nandu 

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