France seizes 20,000 'dangerous' mosquito plugs from China

PARIS (AFP) - French customs said on Thursday they had seized 20,000 anti-mosquito plugs shipped in from China that risked electrocuting people, in the latest product safety scare.

The customs head office said the plugs - which were due to be delivered to an importer in the Paris region - were seized in the northern port city of Le Havre and found to be "dangerous" after analysis.

Among other things, authorities found there was a risk of people electrocuting themselves if they used the plugs.

"Customs services have dealt with nearly 20 cases pertaining to anti-mosquito devices in just a few months," the head office said in a statement.

"That's nearly 280,000 items that did not conform with regulations, including more than a third that were found to be dangerous, with problems of insulation."

It is unclear whether all the items came from China, where quality regulations are lax, leading to a string of global safety scares in recent years involving toys, milk and other items.

But the manufacturing powerhouse has also been a victim of safety scares involving foreign products imported into the country.

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra, for instance, has had to enact a global recall of baby formula distributed in China and other countries, which was tainted with bacteria that can cause botulism, a potentially deadly paralytic illness.