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Berlin tea shop operator rebuts carcinogens claims

BERLIN -- A Taiwanese bubble tea drink operator in Germany made public Friday test results that showed materials in the drink are safe for consumption, rebutting a media report that the beverage may contain cancer-causing chemicals.

The results of the test, conducted by a German government-certified lab, showed the materials in the beverage conform to health regulations in Germany, said Lai Ming-ching, owner of Berlin-headquartered teashop chain BoBoQ and Possmei, a Taiwan-based manufacturer of bubble tea drink materials. He was accompanied by a lawyer.

Lai was rebutting a report published Aug. 21 by German media outlet Rheinische Post that claimed the drink contained carcinogenic chemicals such as styrene, acetophenone, and brominated substances.

The media report said samples were collected from an unnamed franchise chain in Monchengladbach, Germany and tested by RWTH Aachen University and instrument firm Leco Instrumente GmbH.

Spiegel, another German news outlet, also ran the report and said most of the materials were imported from Taiwan.

Lai said such negative reports have inflicted business losses on BoBoQ's 100-plus franchise stores. The company will collect evidence and may take legal action against the media outlets that ran “false reports” against BoBoQ's products, he said.

Taiwan's representative office in Germany also issued a statement dated Aug. 31, saying food items in Taiwan are monitored under the Act Governing Food Sanitation. It said that Taiwan also carries out regular checks to make sure exported goods comply with the legal requirements of the destination countries.

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