Saturday, June 4, 2011

DEHP-tainted food shipped to 15 regions: Taiwan government

Saturday, 4th June 2011

According to Taiwan government, the food tainted with DEHP have been exported to 15 countries inclusive Malaysia.

Taiwan's Department of Health confirmed that food products made in the country containing DEHP were exported to 15 other countries or regions. 

Taiwan's Department of Health (DOH) confirmed that food made in Taiwan containing the plasticizer DEHP (di-ethyl hexyl phthalate), which can cause hormone malfunctions in children, was exported to 15 countries or regions including the US, mainland China, the European Union, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Philippines, Australia, Malaysia, South Africa, Argentina, Egypt, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Macau.

The department said it has informed the authorities of these countries and reported to World Health Organization (WHO).

China and South Korea have banned imports of certain food and drinks from Taiwan which may be contaminated, while Canada is investigating food imported from Taiwan. California supermarkets have also removed contaminated food from selves.

The toxic food additive scandal broke out early last week in Taiwan after an investigator from the Department of Health discovered food and beverage products containing the agent that is normally only used to make plastics. The discovery triggered a public panic nationwide in Taiwan and the government launched a comprehensive food check.

Beijing banned imports of Taiwan-made sports drinks, fruit juices and jams that Taipei had said could contain excessive levels of DEHP. Beijing also published a list of companies from the island whose imports were banned. South Korea's Food and Drug Administration also implemented a series of bans.

The Philippines have also limited food imports from Taiwan. More than one hundred thousand Taiwan-made food products were recalled by the Philippines' Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday (June 1).

Some 165,505 variants of food and drink products from Taiwan are believed to be contaminated with DEHP and should be recalled, the Philippines FDA said.

The list includes some 200 types of product such as fruit juices, tea, sports drink, fruit concentrate, candies, fruit capsules and tablets, honey, fruit bars, fruit pastes and jams.

Affected products include sports drinks manufactured by Hyatt Brand Food Co and Bao Jian; fruit juice concentrates made by Bosi US International Industrial Co and Sun Biotech; teas by Fresh Tea; fruit juices by Kagawa Industrial Co and Jin Wang Food Co; fruit syrups by Lin International Trading Co and fruit juice powders by Wang Chun Industrial Corp, Chang Gung Biotechnology Co and Hip Shing Chemical Co.

These products were recalled since the agency is under the impression that DEHP was "illegally added to a food product as a clouding agent to improve emulsification of the product," Philippine FDA director Suzette Lazo said.

Hong Kong also banned two Taiwanese drinks on Tuesday (May 31) and Wednesday said it was recalling the stomach medicine Well Tab after its own tests found DEHP in the product.

An alert from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Wednesday that affected juices, syrups and jams may be in the Canadian market and contain DEHP.

"We've identified so far 25 different products that we know have been imported into Canada and we put out the recall notice on those," said Tim O'Connor, a spokesperson for the agency. The recalled products include mango, lychee and passion fruit juice.

Contaminated beverages from Taiwan have been removed from shelves at the California-based 99 Ranch Market, one of the largest Asian grocery chains in the US, company spokesperson Jennifer Tsao said Monday (May 30).

"Two kinds of Taiwanese beverages have been taken off shelves and we are still trying to know more about the whole situation, "she told Taiwan's Central News Agency.

99 Ranch Market, run by Tawa Supermarket Inc, has 35 stores in the US, 29 of which are in California. The chain is considered a Taiwanese-American supermarket because it has a considerable amount of products imported from Taiwan.

The Taiwan government has proposed dramatically tougher penalties for tainting food items with banned substances, planning a 33-fold increase in the maximum fine in a bid to prevent contaminated foods being sold.

Mupok Aku

This article is taken from Want China Time.Com

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