Tainted Taiwan food products banned

KUALA LUMPUR – Food and drink products from Taiwan tainted with toxic chemicals di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) and di-isononyl phthalate (DINP) are prohibited in Malaysia, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

Liow said among the restricted products are Uni-President Asparagus Juice by Uni-President Enterprises Corp Taiwan. Also prohibited are Sunkist Lemon Juice, Sunkist Lemon Juice Drink with Aloe Vera Pulp, Sunkist Orange Juice and Sunkist Orange Juice drinks manufactured by Country House Inc in Taiwan and exported to Malaysia through Sunlight Foods Corp, Taiwan.

“We are also monitoring the market and entry points for food products imported from Taiwan such as fruit juices, jelly, jam, yoghurt and sports drinks,” he said in a statement here yesterday.

Liow said the ministry was informed by the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that traces of DEHP and DINP, which are used to make plastics more flexible and durable, were found in products exported from the country and might have carcinogenic effects.

Other affected products are sports drinks from Taiwanese company Young Energy Resource Co Ltd such as the Speed Sports Drink (600ml), Speed Sports Drink (Lemon Flavour)(600ml) and Dong Nung 1000 Sports Drink. However, Liow said that the Food Safety Information System of Malaysia revealed that these products were not imported into the country but the others had been ordered for immediate withdrawal from the market.

“The ministry will confiscate tainted products still found in the market and take action under the Food Act 1983 on individuals involved in importing, storing, preparing, distributing and selling these goods,” he said.

Liow added that the public needed not worry about imported food from Taiwan as they had imposed control on affected items. For more information, the public can contact the ministry’s Food Safety and Quality Division at 03-88833652/03-88833653 or visit its website at http://moh.gov.my or http://fsq.moh.gov.my.