China probes 'ping pong' eggs

2012-02-10 22:10

Beijing - Chinese authorities are investigating eggs which bounce after being boiled and may make men sterile, state media reported on Friday, in the latest food-safety scare to hit the country.

The eggs, being referred to in Chinese media and on the internet as "rubber eggs" or "ping pong eggs", are too hard to eat, raising suspicion they are fake, after appearing in "small numbers" in markets nationwide, Xinhua news agency said.

"The investigation is designed to appease consumers' concerns, after some suspected they bought artificial eggs made by unconscientious traders seeking profits," it reported.

However, the eggs' hardness could be a natural occurrence, caused by hens consuming large amounts of food enriched with a compound called gossypol, which binds to protein in egg yolks, Xinhua said.

"While gossypol normally exists in the residue of cotton seeds added to chicken feed as an extra protein source, large doses of the compound will suppress sperm activity as gossypol has been tested to be used in male contraceptive pills," it added.

Food safety worries are nothing new to China, where tales of fake cooking oil, tainted milk and watermelons which explode from being fed too much fertiliser regularly appear in the news.

In 2008, at least six children died and nearly 300 000 became ill from powdered milk laced with melamine, an industrial chemical added to low quality or diluted milk to fool inspectors by giving misleadingly high readings for protein levels.

  • mary.kircher - 2012-02-11 00:20

    gossypol ??? ROFL - I know hardboiled eggs pong but never seen the ping yet !

  • Silvana - 2012-02-11 05:40

    Hahahah. These eggs take the ping out of a man's pong. Wish we had these chickens. Might slow down the birth rate.

  • Eduard - 2012-02-11 07:08

    they already sold plastic rice to people...tinted milk powder....and ....and....I am sorry....i just dont trust them...

  • Francois Shannon Ackermann - 2012-02-11 07:31

    The true hero in this story is the chicken, he survived long enough IN CHINA to lay an egg. Give that chicken another Bells!!!!!

  • IrenĂ© - 2012-02-11 11:08

    jokes aside- this is disgusting- when will humans see animals as anything else but producers for their own gain? They are feeding animals food that make them so sick that they cannot stand up in the abattoirs. Educate yourselves about downer animals and new laws in the US. it's f***ing vile what we are doing to living breathing creatures in order to produce more and cheaper food to stuff in our fat faces. when in doubt, avoid animal products, the stuff they do to cows, chickens and pigs these days is from science fiction horror movies. I have no problem with compassionate animal husbandry where the farmer respects the source of his income, but sadly that is not to be found anywhere except for small scale farmers in limited areas.

  • John - 2012-02-11 16:50

    They can add some of that melamine to their, sorry, our rhino horn.. and perlamoen.

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