Materia Medica Malaysiana

May 5, 2007

Health Ministry Assures Public Fruits, Vegetables Safe

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:56 am

KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 (Bernama) — The Health Ministry today assured the public that fruits and vegetables sold in the Malaysian market are safe.
The Ministry’s Food Safety and Quality Division Director Dr Abdul Rahim Mohamad said the monitoring programme for pesticides in fruits and vegetables in Malaysia, locally produced or imported, did not reflect an alarming situation on their safety.
“However, the ministry will continue to monitor the level of pesticides in fruits and vegetables to ensure supply of safe food to consumers in Malaysia,” he said in a statement.
He was commenting on news reports yesterday that tainted vegetables from illegal farms run by foreign workers using toxic doses of pesticides on their produce had reached an “alarming situation” in the Malaysian market and posed a risk to the health of consumers.
Abdul Rahim said that to ensure supply of safe food to consumers, his department, under the Food Act 1983, will continue to take samples at markets and retails premises for analysis.
He said any contravention detected will trigger the procedure of tracing the suppliers of the vegetables or fruits until the farm level.
On this matter, he said, sellers and suppliers are advised to keep the invoices or receipts of their purchases for the purpose of detection, and failure to do so would make them liable to court action.
Abdul Rahim said the allegation of unsafe vegetables in the market using “cocktails” of pesticides has long been suspected.
He said the regular programme of vegetables monitoring was implemented in 1997 following an incident where Malaysian vegetables were rejected by Singapore in the same year.
Following the incident, 3,735 samples of vegetables and fruits were tested in 1998 and 202 samples or 5.4 per cent were found to contravene the Food Regulations 1985. He said that since then, the contravention rate has declined.
“Over the last four years, our monitoring showed that the contravention rate is below two per cent and it is below the national average for all types of food sold in the country,” he said.

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