• Thu
  • Nov 27, 2014
  • Updated: 9:53pm
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2013, 10:47am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2013, 1:48pm

Video: Chinese restaurants found to serve poisonous fake shark fin soup


Amy Li began her journalism career as a crime news reporter in Queens, New York, in 2004. She joined Reuters in Beijing in 2008 as a multimedia editor. Amy taught journalism at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu before joining SCMP in Hong Kong in 2012. She is now an online news editor for SCMP.com. Amy can be reached at chunxiao.li@scmp.com, or follow her on Twitter @AmyLiSCMP

Think twice before you order your favourite shark fin soup next time - chances are you may be paying for an expensive bowl of mung bean starch gel and gelatine.

An investigative report by China’s CCTV on Tuesday revealed the shocking practise among restaurants in Beijing, Guangdong, Zhejiang and Fujian: serving chemically made "shark fin" to diners who are made to believe they are eating the real thing.

A mixture of mung bean starch, gelatine, sodium and other chemicals, the fake fin dish served in expensive restaurants and wedding feasts has become a popular choice among customers, especially those eager to impress guests with a "high-end" dish, said the report.

In a Zhejiang restaurant named Xanadu, a fake bowl of shark fin was sold for 150 yuan (HK$186), while the ingredients cost only 5 yuan, said the report.

CCTV estimated that up to 40 per cent of the shark fins consumed in mainland Chinese restaurants could be fake. Experts warn that chemicals and additives used to make fake fins are poisonous and could damage the lung and other organs.

The shocking revelation has sparked heated discussions on China’s micro-blogging service Sina Weibo. “It’s the corrupt officials who eat shark fins, right?” said a blogger. “It’s a fair world after all.”

“People who eat it for a better image should get it over with now,” said another Weibo user.


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This article is now closed to comments

Now you know how some of these crooks made it to be China's millionaires.
Knowing is one thing, but what the authorities are doing about it is quite another.
Anybody knows what the Govt is doing ?
What is new anyways!!!. Some of the Greedy Chinese people will do any crooked & twisted ways to sell anything & everything under the sun if it is profiting to them . May be it is good news to the world that they themselves get poisoned & perish. May be this how they will uerstand that what they do is not lways right. May be this is the only language they will understand.
Chinese is not only poising their food but also its culture! Food is an integral part of our living and culture, I am not suggesting people to eat shark fin, but many traditional chinese dishes nowadays are prepared by chemical additives in China and even HK. Even in HK, you will see TV show top chefs are suggesting people to use "chicken Powder" to marinate seafoods and fresh meats! These are another version of MSG and if you go to supermarkets mom and grand mom are buying it too! You never see this kind of top chef in the west to suggest people using " chicken powder" on TV cooking show! But you will find many of these in HK.


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