Chinese officials are investigating allegations traders there have been using harmful levels of formaldehyde to keep cabbages fresh.
According to local media, an official has confirmed an investigation into the practice has been launched in the eastern province of Shandong, a major production hub for fresh produce.
Traders in the region have been using formaldehyde - a cancer causing substance that can be fatal if ingested - to keep produce fresh on the way to market, it has been alleged.
China’s official news agency, Xinhua, reported the practice was prevalent in Shandong and the neighbouring Hebei province, especially in warmer months.
"It's a common practice to keep the cabbage fresh. Otherwise, the vegetables stacked tightly in the trucks would rot in two to three days," a farmer in Dongxia told the news source.