Fish is now disappearing from the shelves of supermarkets in Taiwanese capital after the government said Wednesday it found traces of a cancer-linked chemical in some batches even though they had a new safety label that was supposed to guarantee the absence of the substance.
The Fisheries Administration announced late Tuesday that malachite green, a chemical used to treat fungus infections in fish, had turned up in a batch of green groupers from the southern Pingtung region that carried the safety label.
"The batch of 121 fish was on sale at supermarkets in Taipei, and most of them have already been sold (to consumers)," fisheries official Shih Sheng-lung said.
The administration instituted the labeling system guaranteeing the absence of malachite green after inspectors in Hong Kong last month found the substance in a green grouper from Taiwan.
A subsequent investigation by the Fisheries Administration uncovered the chemical in several batches of the fish.
Malachite green, used as a synthetic dye as well as an anti-fungul medicine, has been banned in many countries including Taiwan due to concerns that it could damage genetic material in cells and cause cancer, reports the AP.