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China issues alert on 'chromium-contaminated' capsules

(Xinhua)

08:05, April 16, 2012

BEIJING, April 15 (Xinhua) -- China's drug watchdog issued an emergency notice late Sunday night to suspend the selling and consumption of a list of capsules with reported excessive chromium contamination.

Earlier Sunday, a report run by the China Central Television (CCTV) revealed that several commonly used drugs were packed into capsules made from industrial gelatin, which contains a much higher degree of chromium than edible gelatin.

The State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) has instructed its local bureaus to investigate the cases and examine the drugs mentioned in the report, said the SFDA notice.

The Chinese Pharmacopoeia sets a clear standard for capsules and requires drug makers only to purchase capsules from manufacturers with appropriated drug-making licenses, said the notice.

It also noted those drug makers will face due legal consequences if the examination results fail to meet the standards.

Last week, an unconfirmed report said that industrial gelatin may have been used in the production of solid yogurt and puddings, but was soon dismissed by major dairy producers.

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