Vietnamese family killed by musty cornstarch

Thanh Nien News

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Women selling pancakes made from cornstarch at a market in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang. Photo credit: news.zing.vn
A member of a northern hill tribe and his two children were killed by a meal of pancakes made from musty cornstarch.
Giang Sia Sinh, 39, from the rocky Dong Van highlands in Ha Giang Province, died at 1a.m. on Monday alongside his 15-year-old son, hours after they were rushed to a district hospital, Vietnam News Agency reported.
His daughter Giang Thi Chia, 11, died later that same morning.
Relatives brought them a bowl of cornstarch on May 26 as a gift.
They cooked and ate half of it the same day and were fine.
Six days later,  the three cooked the rest and were addled by seizures, vomiting and diarrhea several hours later.
They were rushed to hospital after falling into a coma.
Corn is a staple food for tribes living in Dong Van, but it has also killed a number of people.
Ha Giang health authorities say nearly 70 poisoning cases were caused by musty corn and toxic wild mushroom consumption between 2007 and May of this year.
Corn poisoning fatalities were reported every year, including at least seven in 2002, four in 2004, several families in 2008, three in 2011 and 13 in 2012.
Nine people from two families were poisoned by musty corn cakes in late April; five died.

The 574 square kilometer plateau is the only place in Vietnam to win UNESCO recognition as a global geopark. However, its residents suffer mightily due to a dearth of arable land.

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