Many Chinese Salt-Buyers Want Their Money Back

But some stores say 'tough luck'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2011 9:23 AM CDT
Many Chinese Salt-Buyers Want Their Money Back
In a picture taken on March 17, 2011 Chinese shoppers crowd a shop in an effort to buy salt in Lanzhou, northwest China's Gansu province.   (Getty Images)

All those panicked consumers in China who bought all the salt off store shelves? Yeah, they'd like their money back now. "I regret it very much. I will never behave this silly anymore," says one woman who was refused a refund for the four-year supply she purchased. Many are finding stores unwilling to give them their money back, according to local reports cited in the Los Angeles Times. One man who purchased a 110-pound sack discovered that not only is it non-refundable ... it's also inedible.

Consumers were originally thought to be buying iodized salt because they believed it could protect them from the effects of radiation, or were stocking up out of fear that radiation could pollute coastal sea salt deposits, but many say they actually bought salt simply because everyone else was doing it. The government responded by cracking down on price-gouging: Some shopkeepers charged as much as 10 times the normal price. The Times notes that national sales hit 370,000 tons on Thursday; the daily norm is 15,400 tons. (More China stories.)

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