Chinese cardboard bun hoax
The cardboard-bun hoax was reported in July 2007 on Beijing Television's BTV-7 (the Lifestyle Channel) as an alleged undercover story revealing that street vendors were adding cardboard to their baozi (Chinese: 包子; pinyin: bāozi), or pork buns. In the report, footage was shown on the air that implied that local vendors were selling pork dumplings filled with a composite of 60% caustic soda-soaked cardboard and 40% fatty pork. Coming after several product recalls of Chinese products, the report sparked widespread disgust.
Response from Chinese government
On July 18, 2007 Chinese law enforcement officials reported that they had detained Zi Beijia (訾北佳), a local reporter, for allegedly faking the news report. Zi, using the alias Hu Yue (胡月), is believed to have hired four migrant workers to make the cardboard buns as he filmed. BTV 7 apologized, saying it was "profoundly sorry" for the deception and its "vile impact on society." Beijing's health authorities reported finding no evidence of cardboard in local buns. Furthermore, the Beijing Municipal Food Safety Office found that even if baozis are filled with a five percent mixture of cardboard "the fiber substance can be easily seen, and the meat buns made this way could not be easily chewed."
On August 12, 2007, Zi was sentenced to a year in jail and a fine of $132.
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- Song Shutao (2007-07-19). "Meat buns with cardboard fillings in Beijing is hoax". Xinhua News Agency. Retrieved 2007-10-14.
- "Chinese reporter who faked report on cardboard buns is jailed". International Herald Tribune. 2007-07-18. Retrieved 2007-07-19.
- Olesen, Alexa (2007-07-19). "Police arrest reporter for faking story on cardboard-filled buns". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2007-07-19.
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