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Student's food safety website fuels his fame


08:01, May 08, 2012

A map illustrates China's foot safety probelms on Zhichuchuangwai (

SHANGHAI - Driven by a sense of social responsibility, Wu Heng created a website to track China's food safety problems, a move that has propelled him to Internet stardom as people from across the country have found their way to the site.

Wu, 26, is a graduate student majoring in history at Shanghai's Fudan University. In June 2011, Wu and 34 volunteers launched Zhichuchuangwai (, which translates to "throw it out the window."

The website, which has recorded over 190,000 hits since being launched, has a database containing about 3,000 news articles on food safety and a map pinpointing the locations of China's food safety incidents.

In recent years, food safety has become a growing concern in China, as various deadly scandals such as toxic milk, tainted pork and dyed buns have been exposed by the country's media, sparking widespread fear.

A recent headline-grabbing case revolves around some vendors in eastern Shandong province spraying a formaldehyde solution on cabbage to keep the produce fresh during shipment.

On the homepage of the website, the food safety map, which was drawn by Wu himself, reveals the results of an investigation into China's food safety situation from 2004 to 2011. It shows that the number of provinces and regions with serious food safety problems has grown from four in 2004 to 11 in 2011.

"Once I was like a frog in warm water who did not care much about repeated food safety scandals, believing that the tainted food was an issue far away from my own life," Wu said, stressing that establishing the website had not been planned.

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