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Toxic dye found in lipsticks in S. China city
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2007-02-07 10:33

Sudan Red, a carcinogenic industrial dyestuff, was detected in six types of lipstick products during a random survey of the Chinese rouge market, the State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine announced on Tuesday.

It was the first time that the toxic dye was found in rouge products in China.

The survey was conducted on 102 types of lipsticks from 54 enterprises in major production areas, including Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces and Shanghai. It found that 94 percent of the products investigated were of reliable quality.

The six types of rouge in which Sudan Red I, II and IV were detected were made by two enterprises in Shantou, a city in south China's Guangdong Province.

The State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine and the Guangdong provincial administration of quality supervision, inspection and quarantine have launched an emergency plan. The two enterprises were ordered to suspend production immediately, recall the suspect products and destroy them under the supervision of local quality inspection authorities.

When used as a coloring agent in rouge, Sudan Red can enter the human body with saliva and food.

Sudan Red I is a red, industrial, oil-soluble dye, which can be legally used to color non-food products such as shoes and floor polish, oil, wax and solvents. It has been shown to cause cancer in rats and consequently its use in food product is strictly forbidden.

Despite being banned, the dye has repeatedly found its way into food products such as chilli powder--a commodity to which it apparently adds a particular attractive colour. Consequently, traces of the dye are then found in other products in which chilli is an ingredient such as spice blends, sauces, spicy foods and prepared meals, etc. Related dyes, similarly misused, are Sudan II, III and IV.

China detected Sudan Red in Kentucky Fried Chicken products and in red-yolk eggs, which created a food security scare across the country.

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