Two swiftlet nest processing factories have been identified to use dangerous chemicals to make the nests look reddish and be categorised of the best quality to cheat buyers.
Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Chua Tee Yong said the action of the factories concerned had been detected by China, the main importer of the bird’s nests.
He said China had filed a complaint with the ministry over the use of the chemical, which is believed could cause cancer, by the factories concerned.
Following which, the two factories had been ordered to cease operation and action would be taken by the health department, he told reporters after opening a course on swiftlet farming here today.
Chua also said a guideline on swiftlet farming would be introduced this year to facilitate regulation by authorities on the industry.
He said there were about 6,000 swiftlet farming operators registered with the ministry, but believed the actual number of operators involved was double.