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Why eating chocolate could harm your health

By Lu Feiran (Shanghai Daily)

08:51, February 08, 2012

MORE than 230 batches of food and cosmetics imported from nearly 20 countries were found to have quality problems in recent inspections, some of which could be harmful to health, the country's quality watchdog said yesterday.

Ten batches of chocolate produced in German, Italy and Austria contained excessive amounts of the copper, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said.

Products such as Rausch 75 percent dark chocolate from Germany, and Austrian Zotte chocolate, were on the blacklist.

Excessive amounts of copper can affect the liver and gall bladder and could eventually cause cirrhosis, officials said.

Meanwhile, Van Parijis fruit candy produced in Belgium was found to contain coloring which is banned in food production in China.

A type of dumpling made in South Korea was found to contain excessive amounts of bacteria which could cause intestinal and stomach diseases.

As for cosmetics, a Payot mineral facial mask from France contained high levels of arsenic, which can cause cancer. Another type of Payot facial mask contained excessive bacteria, which could result in skin infections.

The products have either been destroyed or returned to their producing countries and had not entered the Chinese market, officials said.

Some of the brands can be found online, but sellers said they stocked products from trading companies rather than from producing countries directly, so all products had passed the inspections.

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