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China reveals producers of tainted capsules

(Xinhua)

07:59, April 28, 2012

BEIJING - Products from 15 gel capsule producers have been found to contain excessive levels of chromium, according to a nationwide investigation into edible gelatin and gel capsule production conducted by China's State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA).

Eighteen producers of edible gelatin were investigated, and one batch of one company's products was found to contain excessive levels of chromium, the SFDA said, adding that 74 batches of products from 15 gel capsule producers were also found to contain excessive amounts of chromium.

The SFDA imposed an immediate product recall and called for the destruction of the chromium-tainted products.

Moreover, the producers of chromium-tainted products will be investigated by police and their production licenses will be revoked.

The SFDA also called for "faster and stricter" punishments for those found to have produced chromium-tainted edible gelatin and gel capsule products, and those in charge of these enterprises must be blacklisted and are banned from doing businesses relating to production and marketing of medicines.

China Central Television (CCTV) reported on April 15 that 13 commonly-prescribed drugs had been packed into capsules made with industrial gelatin containing a much greater amount of chromium than edible gelatin.

Chromium can be toxic and carcinogenic if ingested in large amounts.

The capsule scandal revealed a lack of social responsibility as well as a dereliction of duty on the part of the government's supervision department, the SFDA said.

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