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Danone pulls fruit yogurt off shelves in Romania due to contamination scare

A subsidiary of French yogurt maker Groupe Danone SA has pulled fruit yogurts off the shelves in Romania after suspicions that they were contaminated with dioxin, the company said Wednesday.

Food health authorities carried out checks on the Groupe Danone SA product August 17 and the yogurts were impounded in a Danone warehouse, a company statement said. The yogurts contained guar gum, a thickening agent and stabilizer which may have been contaminated with dioxin, the statement said. The yogurts had been manufactured recently and expired on September 11.

Samples were sent for checks at a food laboratory in Budapest, Hungary. The statement said that results from the checks at the laboratory in Budapest would be available next week. Dioxin can be toxic and is a probable carcinogen. Company officials insisted there was no danger to consumers. We are talking about a small quantity compared to our total produce,” said Milena Nedelecu, a company official by telephone.

“There is not a single carton of yogurt of ours on the market that is suspicious. They were all withdrawn immediately,” she told The Associated Press. Daily Evenimentul Zilei reported that Danone sour cherry and forest fruit yogurts had been withdrawn Tuesday from supermarkets in the southern city of Pitesti. Danone is one of the most popular brands of yogurt and sour cream in Romania, a country of 22 million. (press release, pr-inside.com)