Chinese Cardboard Food Hoax

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Filed under: Fraud and Deception

Counterfeit reporting about counterfeit food…

China reporter held over cardboard-in-buns story
July 19, 2007

artcardboardfood200.jpgBeijing, China (Reuters) — Beijing police have detained a television reporter for allegedly fabricating an investigative story about steamed buns stuffed with cardboard at a time when China’s food safety is under intense international scrutiny.

A city-wide inspection of steamed bun vendors found no “cardboard buns,” the China Daily said.

A report directed by Beijing TV and played on state-run national broadcaster China Central Television last Thursday said an unlicensed snack vendor in eastern Beijing was selling steamed dumplings stuffed with cardboard soaked in caustic soda and seasoned with pork flavoring.

Beijing authorities said investigations had found that an employee surnamed Zi had fabricated the report to garner “higher audience ratings”, the China Daily said on Thursday.

“Zi had provided all the cardboard and asked the vendor to soak it. It’s all cheating,” the paper quoted a government notice as saying.

A city-wide inspection of steamed bun vendors in the wake of the report had found no such cases, the paper said.

Beijing TV had apologized for failing to check the report’s authenticity and said it would make efforts to improve staff ethics, the paper added. Read the rest of the story here.

Read the original CNN story from July 12, 2007 here.

[Editor’s note: It is unknown if the person in the AP photograph above (attached to this story) is related in any way to this story or is just a generic “Asian” face used in a generic way]