26 Tons of Fake Salt Seized in South China

March 19, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

Chinese police confiscated around 26 tons of mostly industrial salt in Guangzhou this month, which was due to be sold as table salt.

The figures were published by Guangdong Province’s salt industry group on March 15, China’s consumer day, according to a report by Nanfang Metropolis Daily. A spokesman for the group claimed that 96 percent of the 650,000 tons of salt consumed in Guangdong each year was safe.

Fake salt is inedible, because it contains excess metals, which are dangerous to health. A common and particularly toxic component is sodium nitrite, which is potentially lethal.

The salt had been smuggled from Jiangxi Province in central China. It was being stored in a number of warehouses in Guangdong, such as in Zengcheng and Baiyun, and then distributed in the capital of Guangzhou.

The Daily’s article informed readers how to identify bags of fake salt from their edges, which tend to fold over.

Research by Sophia Fang.