Materia Medica Malaysiana

July 30, 2007

Stricter tests on imports from China for contamination

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:47 am

Star: PETALING JAYA: More stringent checks are being conducted on made-in-China food products imported here following the alarming number of such items being found contaminated with health risk agents globally.
The Health Ministry’s Food Quality and Safety Division has stepped up surveillance and is carrying out more extensive tests on all new Chinese products that require approvals to be imported here.
“More stringent tests are being conducted to ensure the quality and safety of these products for local consumption,” division director Dr Abdul Rahim Mohamad said.
He said random tests were also being carried out on Chinese products that had already been granted permission to be imported here to ensure the quality and safety standards had not deteriorated.
“More such tests had been done in the past months as the number of tainted and contaminated food items from China reported globally has escalated,” he said.
Malaysia imported about RM58bil worth of food products from China last year. Malaysia is the third largest buyer of China-made products.
Dr Abdul Rahim said the division has also ordered all its state offices, particularly in Sabah, to check the White Rabbit brand milk candy after reports in the Philippines that samples were tainted with formaldehyde, a preservative and embalming chemical that can cause cancer.
However, AP reported that China has resumed shipments of candy to the Philippines after tests by the Chinese government showed the chemical was not present in the product.
According to Shanghai-based candy manufacturer Guan Shen Yuan Company, distributors in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong had performed their own tests and found the confection to be formaldehyde-free.
The worldwide scares have involved poisonous pet food ingredients, toxic fish, industrial chemicals and dye found in biscuits, candies, pickles, seafood, meat and toothpaste.
In the past months, Hong Kong and Singapore health authorities had warned their residents about the danger of Chinese products.
Singapore Agri-Food and Veterinary Services (AVS) warned Singaporeans against buying salted duck and century eggs from China, which were said to be contaminated with dangerous cancer-causing Sudan dyes.
AVS also suspended the importation of canned fried dace with salted black beans and frozen prepared eel from China. The products were found to contain Malachite green, a type of chemical used as a dye.
Tests by the Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety had also found that some Chinese seafood products including Bombay-duck (a type of fish), were found with cancer-causing agents nitrofurans and formaldehyde.

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