Materia Medica Malaysiana

October 23, 2008

No need to ban all rising agents from China

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 2:10 pm

NST: PUTRAJAYA: With 31 types of tainted biscuits now removed from sale, 142 other types are considered safe for consumption.
Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said Malaysian manufacturers did not use the ammonium bicarbonate rising agent from three companies blamed by the Chinese government for causing the contamination.
The three companies were Broadtech Chemical Int Co Ltd, Dalian Chemical Industries and Tianjin Red Triangle International Trading Co Ltd.
“Now that we know the sources, we can easily cut the supply from entering the Malaysian market,” Liow said.
He said all ammonium bicarbonate from China had been given a level five examination by the Food and Safety Information System of Malaysia (FoSIM). This meant the food was detained pending results of sample analysis.
However, ammonium bicarbonate from the three companies will be placed on level six, which means an automatic rejection.
Ammonium bicarbonate from China makes up 95 per cent of the market share in Malaysia, with the rest coming from Germany and other countries.
Liow said there were no plans to ban all ammonium bicarbonate from China.
“The industry will suffer. Those that are coming in have been proven to be uncontaminated. What is the purpose of stopping it if there is no contamination?”
He also said the ministry would be working closely with the Chinese embassy on the matter.
Speaking after meeting with more than 50 biscuit manufacturers at his ministry here yesterday, Liow urged the public to be wary when buying biscuits without labels.
Liow said of the 173 biscuits tested by the Health Ministry for excessive mela-mine contamination, including those from China, only 31 tested positive.
He said the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry was helping in ensuring that the tainted products were removed from shelves.
Biscuit producers and distributors have also agreed to a self-risk assessment by sending samples to be tested at ministry-approved laboratories. If samples exceeded the permitted melamine levels, the ministry would seal the batches and get samples formally tested for further action.

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