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China Revokes Licenses of Firms That Exported Tainted Products

China's product safety watchdog said Friday it had revoked the business licenses of several firms that had exported products, tainted with diethylene glycol and melamine, at the heart of a food safety scare.

The Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said the business license had been pulled for Taixing Glycerin Factory, accused of exporting diethylene glycol and fraudulently passing it off as 99.5% pure glycerin that eventually ended up in Panamanian medicines that killed at least 51 people.

It also revoked the licenses for Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development, also in eastern Jiangsu province, and Binzhou Futian Biology Technology in Shandong province, which added melamine to their wheat gluten exports. The gluten ended up in pet food in North America that is blamed for the deaths of an unknown number of dogs and cats.

China is struggling to contain growing allegations about product safety that have hammered its reputation as a food and drug exporter and alarmed people at home. In the latest development, a Chinese candy maker denied Philippine assertions that one of its products was tainted with formaldehyde.

Chinese police have arrested a journalist accused of faking an investigative report on buns stuffed with shredded cardboard that made headlines around the world and Beijing Television apologized for airing the footage.