China Closes 180 Food Plants
Dangerous chemicals added to products from candy to pickles; most not exported
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2007 3:51 AM CDT
Boxes of Tianqi Toothpaste are seen at a supermarket in Chengdu, in China's Sichuan province Tuesday, June 12 2007. China's Communist Party called Saturday, June 16, 2007, for timely tests and improved...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Chinese government has shut down 180 food manufacturing plants for racking up a whopping 23,000 violations in the last six months, most of them for using chemicals and industrial materials as food fillers to cut costs. Almost all were small and unlicensed, making it unlikely their products, worth some $26 million, reached international markets.

The factories had been adding mineral oils, wax, formaldehyde and carcinogenic malachite green to everything from candy to pickles. The crackdown represented China's first acknowledgment of quality control challenges in the nation in the wave of several high-profile problems with Chinese products in the last several months.