Toxic Mushroom Blamed for 400 Deaths in China

By Diana Hubert, Epoch Times
July 14, 2010 4:34 pm Last Updated: September 29, 2015 5:46 pm

[youtube]Gz5yTNSTSkE[/youtube] A video showing how Mushrooms are very popular in China.
A toxic little white mushroom is suspected as the cause of over 400 deaths reported in China’s Yunnan province over the past thirty years. The phenomenon is called "Yunnan Unknown Cause Sudden Death" in the July 9 issue of Science magazine.

Scientists found the mushroom was found in the homes of people who had died after experiencing sudden cardiac arrest in 2008, reported the BBC.

Science Magazine reported the deaths generally occurred during rainy season between June and August. Yunnan province is known for its wild mushrooms. According to Yunnantourism.com, there are over six hundred edible mushrooms found in the province.

Upon the conclusion of a five year investigation, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention declared the little white toxic mushroom to be a likely cause of the deaths.

According to BBC, however, scientists examining the toxins in the mushroom have found the toxins not to be lethal.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientist Robert Fontaine, an epidemiologist who acted as a senior adviser for the team, told Science that he believes that the mushroom toxin targets "vulnerable" people as opposed to the general population.

Another explanation may be that the mushroom toxin works to kill in conjunction with another factor, says the study. Many of the victims were found with elevated levels of Barium in their bodies, a soil heavy metal that can be incorporated into the mushrooms as they grow.

An awareness campaign warning people not to consume the little white mushrooms has been underway.

No deaths have been officially reported by authorities so far this year.