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TOXIC CHEMICALS FOUND IN TEA, GEL CAPSULES IN BEIJING

04/30/2012

Officials and activists detected toxins in consumer products in unrelated incidents in Beijing last week. The state's Xinhua News Agency said that police had arrested nine people and detained 54 others over chromium detected in gel capsules manufactured with industrial waste. According to Xinhua, police had seized 77 million capsules and halted 80 production lines as of last week, and no one has become ill or died from the capsules. The police also said they had arrested a local official who ordered his brother's factory torched last week to avoid the crackdown. Meanwhile, Greenpeace said in a statement that it had found unsafe levels of pesticide residue in independently tested random boxes of Lipton tea bags purchased from stores in Beijing. "The testing found that all four Lipton samples contained pesticides that exceeded the EU's maximum levels of residue, while three samples contained pesticides unapproved by the EU," said the group. Lipton manufacturer Unilever said in a statement that its tea products were safe. For the story on gel capsules, see http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/china-detains-54-suspects-seizes-millions-of-toxic-capsules-in-tainted-drug-scandal/2012/04/23/gIQAhd19aT_story.html. For the story on pesticide residue, see http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/24/us-unilever-china-quality-idUSBRE83N0AT20120424.