"Red Nest" may be Dangerous

Beware of fake blood bird's nest, say importers, as it may be dyed with pigments. -TNP

Wed, Jun 29, 2011
The New Paper

SINGAPORE - They are pricey, they are hard to harvest, they are prized for their nutrients - but they could be fake.
Especially if they are red.

China has ordered a national check on red bird's nest after samples were found to have higher than permitted nitrite levels. Results from recent tests conducted by the Zhejiang Administration for Industry and Commerce on more than 30,000 cups of red bird's nest in the past two months showed that almost all the samples contained nitrite levels in contravention of China's health standards, with some up to 350 times above levels.

Nitrite is a toxic substance that may lead to chronic poisoning.

Malaysian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Deputy Minister Chua Tee Yong warned on Friday that most of the so-called "blood bird's nest" on the Malaysian market have been pigment-dyed.

He advised consumers there to buy ordinary white bird's nest instead of red blood bird's nest.
In Singapore, retailers are also raising the alarm, saying that "blood bird's nests" have been dyed red and are not the real thing, reported Lianhe Zaobao.
But there is such a thing as blood bird's nest. Blood bird's nest can cost up to $15,000 per kg.