Bean sprout season is upon us, and what do you know, they’re filled with cancer-causing additives. At this point, a surprising China food story would be “bean sprout season is here, and they’re perfectly safe to eat.” Shanghai Daily reports:
Using cancer-inducing additives to increase bean sprouts’ appeal to buyers has become an unwritten rule for processors, a Xinhua news agency investigative report said yesterday.
A raid on three underground workshops in the northern city of Tianjin earlier this month uncovered banned chemicals including growth stimulants, antibiotics, bleaching powder and preservatives used to whiten bean sprouts and keep them looking fresh.
AB powder, one of the commonly used agents, contains 6-Benylaminopurine or 6-BAP, and Gibberelin, or GA, said Shen Zhaohui, an official with the national bean sprouts industry association.
Shen said bean sprouts laced with these substances pose high risks of causing early puberty, menstrual cycle changes, osteoporsis, and could even cause cancer.
Bean sprouts join the ranks of China’s other purported antioxidant fruits and vegetables that ironically also cause cancer. Dear all responsible, we sincerely hope you get testicular cancer on your eyeballs.
AB powder and bleach used for enhancing bean sprout appearance
Dirty bath used for washing bean sprouts
AB powder (left) and tainted bean sprouts (right)