CFS finds traces of malachite green in two grass carp samples

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (April 3) announced that trace amounts of malachite green were found in two grass carp samples. Follow-up is in progress.

A CFS spokesman said, "Following up on cases referred by a relevant organisation, the CFS collected the abovementioned grass carp samples from two stalls in Luen Wo Hui Market, Fanling, and Tai Po Hui Market respectively for testing. The test results showed that both samples contained trace amounts of malachite green at respective levels of 3 parts per billion (ppb) and 1.6 ppb.

"The CFS has informed the vendors concerned of the irregularities and instructed them to stop sale of the affected products. Should there be sufficient evidence, prosecution will be instituted," the spokesman added.

Malachite green is a type of industrial dye and has been used for treating infections in fish. Major agricultural economies such as the Mainland, the European Union, Canada and the United States prohibit the use of the chemical in food fish. According to the Harmful Substances in Food Regulations (Cap 132AF), no food sold in Hong Kong is allowed to contain malachite green. Offenders will be prosecuted and will be liable to a fine of $50,000 and to imprisonment for six months upon conviction. 

The CFS will continue to follow up on the incidents and take appropriate action, including tracing the sources of the affected products. Investigation is ongoing.
Ends/Wednesday, April 3, 2019