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50 China Factories Busted Making Fake Toxic Brand Sauces and Seasonings

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Beware, patrons of world-famous branded seasonings such as Nestle, Knorr, and Lee Kum Kee. These products are the recent victims of food counterfeiting in China, and some of the ingredients used were even banned from human consumption.

In the Chinese city of Tianjin, some 50 factories have been discovered manufacturing falsely labeled sauces and flavorings, sold all-over China and possibly even abroad. The ring of factories had been operating for over a decade.

Samples of the counterfeit products seized by Chinese authorities.

The long period of its operations is not as shocking as the ingredients used in the counterfeit products. According to reports, the fake condiments contain cancer-causing agents and heavy metals that cause liver and kidney damage. The factories also used tap water through garden hoses and large unsanitary plastic buckets. To make it worse, they recycled already-used herbs such as star anise and pepper from nearby factories. The manufacturing of the products were also done inside dilapidated buildings.

The counterfeits were labeled with QR bar codes, copied from genuine product packages, thus making it impossible for consumers to spot the difference. The underground industry was reported to have made about 100 million yuan ($14.5 million) worth of products annually.

The fake products were manufactured in a very poor environment.

The ingredients were mixed in large blue containers like this. Tapped water flowing from garden hoses were also used.

Recycled herbs like star anise and pepper were grounded and used as ingredients.

Maggi Seasoning Sauce was one of the Nestle products that were counterfeited. Its competitor, Knorr, famous in the Asian market for chicken cubes and condiments also did not evade the con. Lee Kum Kee, also a victim, is a brand that originated from Hong Kong and is famous for its oyster sauce.

Maggi seasoning, a famous product manufactured by Nestle, was also a victim of the counterfeiting.

Source: TaoBao

Meanwhile, Nestle released a statement that they are working closely with the authorities against the fake products and brands to protect their consumers.

“Our experts are helping the authorities to distinguish authentic Nestle products from the counterfeits,” a Nestle spokesperson said.

Customers are advised to buy only from authorized distributors and reliable dealers to minimize the risk of obtaining a fake product.

Lee Kum Kee has also taken initiative to work closely with Chinese authorities to fight the incident. They also reminded their customers to always buy products from authorized distributors and reputable retailers to minimize the risk of purchasing counterfeit products.

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