Sunday, June 5, 2011

Contaminated Food Products from Taiwan

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With the recent news on the ban of Taiwanese food due to the involvement of an illegal element, I have tried to look for more information on this. I find it surprising that the coverage was quite limited in local news. Some online search shows more scattered coverage around the world, with most concentrated around Taiwan itself.

Taipei Times:
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2011/05/29/2003504450
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2011/06/05/2003504998


It seems that the news is revolving around the word DEHP, short for di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate. A detained Lai Chun-Chieh (赖俊傑) admitted that his company Yu Shen Chemical Co (昱伸香料有限公司) used DEHP in its clouding agents, and unfortunately these were sold to direct and indirect customers which are major brands in the food industry. All this translates into: you do not know which products are now tainted with DEHP until a thorough test is performed.

So for now, just to be on the safe side, I guess I am avoiding my favorite bubble tea store until things settled down; maybe even all food products from Taiwan altogether. Better be safe than sorry. The sad thing about this news is that with food being an important part of our lives, businessmen are being very casual on their end-users' health and more onto their on wealth.

To know more about what DEHP is about, and why it is making such a fuss, the following links provide more information than I can digest:

Wikipedia:
http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/Taiwanfoodcheck/Mobile/article_html


DEHP information centre:
http://www.dehp-facts.com/

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