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Hazardous dye found in sauce

HA NOI — Cancer-causing Rhodamine B has been found in chilli sauce samples taken from Ha Noi-based Tuan Thanh Investment and Trade Joint Stock Company, the city's Environment Police Department reported on Monday.

The Health Ministry's National Institute for Food Control detected traces of the dye in samples taken at the plant last month.

Environmental police, inspectors from the city's Natural Resources and Environment Department and Hoan Kiem District police raided the company after receiving complains by residents in the district's Cua Dong Ward about pollution from the company.

Chu Van Tuan, a director at the company, told police the factory produced about 150 litres of chilli sauce each day and that all ingredients, such as fresh and dried chilli and preservatives were bought in the market without proof of origin certificates.

The company was also found to be discharging untreated waste water into the city's waterways. It did not have a waste treatment facility or permission to discharge waste into the environment.

The factory was also emitting noxious fumes, inspectors said.

The authority is trying to identify the source of the Rhodamine B.

Police seized and destroyed the company's stock of chilli sauce.

Earlier this year, Rhodamine B was found in dried melon seeds and chilli powder in a number of provinces and cities.

Rhodamine B is used by the textile industry to die cloth and is banned as a food colorant.

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