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China bans sales of mud snails

(Xinhua)

10:08, July 21, 2012

BEIJING, July 20 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Health on Friday issued a notice to ban the sale of Nassariidae, a kind of small mud snail that have reportedly caused people to faint and vomit after eating them.

The snail mostly inhabits the southeastern coastal areas including Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangdong provinces. After eating them, people can feel the snails' poisonous effects within five minutes to four hours, according to the notice.

"Summer and autumn are high risk periods for Nassariidae poisoning. Food production and management companies are not allowed to purchase, process or sell these snails, and consumers should raise self-protection awareness and refrain from buying them," said the notice.

The poison, which comes from tetrodotoxin, a toxin usually found in pufferfish, has no known antidote, said the ministry.

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