Fake green peas found in China

CHANGSA, China, March 31 (UPI) -- Fake green peas made with artificial coloring and a preservative were discovered for sale in a farmer's market in Hunan Province, China, officials said.

Food inspectors traced the peas to two illegal facilities in Changsa, which allegedly made them by combining dried snow peas and soybeans with an illegal green colorant and sodium metabisulfite, a food additive used as a bleach and preservative, China Daily reported Wednesday.


The colorant is suspected of causing cancer and an excess of sodium metabisulfite can hinder calcium absorption said Sang Liwei, a Beijing-based food safety expert.

Similar reports of toxic fake peas were reported in Hunan and Guangdong provinces in 2005, 2006 and 2007, Liwei said.

The peas are profitable because they cost little to make and plump up to look like fresh peas when sold in a market, officials said.

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