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Danone withdraws yoghurts from stores on dioxin contamination suspicions

Joi, 23 august 2007, 0:00

Danone Romania withdrawn from the market fruit yoghurts because of the suspicion that the products may be contaminated with a highly toxic compound, dioxin. The dioxin may have arrived in Romania via the guar gum imported from India, a company release informs.

According to the Danone Communication Manager, Milena Nedelcu, the company was alerted on August 14 by the National Food Safety and Veterinarian Agency (ANSVSA) and identified the products until August 17.

"The suspected products were immediately blocked, some in stores, some in warehouses owned by Danone. Our analysis didn't reveal any presence of the dioxin, but we sent samples to an independent laboratory', says Nedelcu.

Retail chain Selgros officials declared for that they were informed during the past week on the European alert on dioxin-contaminated guar gum. Some of the Danone yoghurts were withdrawn from the store.

Danone also informed that the company doesn't use guar gum directly, this being an ingredient of some of the Czech fruit products. In yoghurts, the guar gum stands for 0.02 grams for a 125 grams package.

The guar gum is a product obtained from Indian beans grown in India, Pakistan and the Southern USA. It is used as a stabilizing and thickening agent in the food industry.

The exposure to dioxin may cause severe acne in the upper part of the body and, in higher concentrations and longer exposure cases, skin irritations, excessive hair growth, skin pigment problems, liver deterioration or cancer.

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