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Kyrgyzstan Returns Tons Of Expired Tomato Paste To China

The tomato paste in question
The tomato paste in question
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan has sent thousands of tons of tomato paste with expired consumption dates back to China, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Kyrgyz Customs Service press secretary Abdylda Maldybaev told RFE/RL that 16 train cars of the canned tomato paste had arrived in Kyrgyzstan from neighboring China in October. The Bishkek-based Nepman company bought the outdated food from a company in the United Arab Emirates.

Maldybaev said the leadership of Nepman was aware that the tomato paste they bought in Dubai for a low price had expired in May 2009 and was inedible. However, the company's management claims it planned to have the food reprocessed and recanned with new expiration dates for consumers in Kyrgyzstan.

Maldybaev thanked the media for raising the issue in January, when several media outlets in Kyrgyzstan reported that the train cars full of the expired tomato paste had arrived at Kyrgyzstan's Tunduk railway station from China.

The Kyrgyz government launched an investigation into the case and a special sanitary commission tested the expired food to see if it could be consumed.

Last month, Lyudmila Davydova, the deputy director of the Kyrgyz State Department for Sanitary and Epidemiology Control, told RFE/RL that it was possible "to reprocess the expired tomato paste, under specific conditions, for consumption."

Read more in Kyrgyz here