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Scandal-hit liquor maker halts packaging lines


08:55, November 28, 2012

CHANGSHA, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese liquor maker suspended its packaging lines on Tuesday after being hit by a plasticizer scandal.

Initial investigations indicated that liquor produced by Jiugui Liquor Co., Ltd. might be contaminated with plasticizer during the packaging process -- from plastic tubes and corks, according to Xia Xinguo, general manager of the firm.

Xia said only the packaging lines are suspended while the production lines are still in operation.

The scandal broke a week ago when a business news website ( reported that one kind of Jiugui liquor contained 1.08 mg per kg of dibutyl phthalate (DBP), a type of plasticizer.

The report prompted an investigation by the food quality watchdog of the Tujia-Miao Autonomous Prefecture of Xiangxi, in Hunan Province, where Jiugui is based.

The results found the DBP in Jiugui liquor was higher than the 0.3 mg per kg standard, a provisional regulatory limit set by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in June 2011.

The food quality watchdog urged the liquor maker to determine the source of the plasticizer and make sure other products were not tainted.

Plasticizers are used to thicken liquids but alcohol products do not need them, according to health experts. The chemicals can cause male reproductive problems as well as damage to the digestive and immune systems.

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