Watermelon seeds test positive for toxins

Nguyen Hung workshop in district 6 found to make watermelon seeds soaked in toxic substance

Ho Chi Minh City health officials confirmed January 5 that some locally sold watermelon seeds had tested positive for a toxic cancer-causing substance.

Tests showed that seeds from the Nguyen Hung workshop at 251/20 Hau Giang Street, District 6 had been soaked in Rhodamine, a toxic substance prohibited for use in food and drugs that can cause cancer if consumed over a long period.

The chemical was detected in concentrations of 1.19mg per kilogram of watermelon seeds, according to health officials.

In addition, the workshop was found to be using an artificial coloring on the seeds, which is banned for use in foods.

Health inspectors have fined the business and ordered it to suspend operations. They also confiscated 16.5 kg of watermelon seeds and destroyed several watermelon seed products.

Authorities began investigating the issue following claims that some traders in central Vietnam had been soaking watermelon seeds in toxic chemicals. Health officials in HCMC then took samples from six watermelon seed vendors for tests.

They have so far analyzed four of the samples and found that one failed to meet health and safety standards.

Related article:
National investigation launched into toxic watermelon seeds

By T. Lam - Translated by Bao Toan

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