China investigates eggs ‘too hard to eat’
Friday 17 February 2012, 10:23AM
Chinese authorities are investigating eggs that bounce after being boiled and may make men sterile, as the country enters yet another food scandal.
The eggs, being referred to in Chinese media and on the internet as “rubber eggs” or “ping pong eggs”, are apparently too hard to eat, raising suspicion they are fake, after appearing in “small numbers” in markets nationwide.
“The investigation is designed to appease consumers’ concerns, after some suspected they bought artificial eggs made by unconscientious traders seeking profits,” state media reported.
However, the eggs’ hardness could be a natural occurrence, caused by hens consuming large amounts of food enriched with a compound called gossypol, which binds to protein in egg yolks, Xinhua said.
“While gossypol normally exists in the residue of cotton seeds added to chicken feed as an extra protein source, large doses of the compound will suppress sperm activity as gossypol has been tested to be used in male contraceptive pills,” it added, doing absolutely nothing to suppress fear over eating them.
Food safety worries are nothing new to China, where tales of fake cooking oil, tainted milk and watermelons which explode from being fed too much chemical fertiliser appear regularly in the news.
In 2008, at least six children died and nearly 300,000 became ill from powdered milk laced with melamine, an industrial chemical added give the appearance of
high protein levels.