More products tainted by food crisis
The China Post news staff
June 7, 2011, 5:52 pm TWN
The plasticizer crisis deepened yesterday as more food industry businesses came under a cloud and more raw materials and products are set to be investigated by the government.
Yu Shen Chemical Co. (昱伸公司), blamed for the circulation of plasticizer-contaminated clouding agents in the country, was found to have sold similarly contaminated fruit flavors and flavored syrups to distributors supplying such products to bakeries, confectioners, and soda makers.
As a result, fruit teas sold in both five-star hotels and roadside stalls, fruit juices sold in night markets, fruit-flavored bread and cakes, apple pies, ice creams, and fruit-flavored sodas are now considered suspicious.
Dozens of food industry businesses sourced their fruit juice powders from Heng Yi Trading Company Inc. (恆宜貿易股份有限公司). Another distributor, Tung Chia Company (東甲公司), was found to have sold contaminated fruit flavors and flavored syrups to 12 bakeries in eight counties and cities.
Beyond these two, six other distributors have been found to have resold Yu Shen flavors and syrups to several dozen bakeries and confectioners.
Kuo Yuan Ye Corporation (郭元益), a well-known maker of traditional pastries, and 23 other businesses were implicated yesterday when their fruit juice powders were traced to Yu Shen.
A Kuo Yuan Ye representative told the Central New Agency that the powders in question were purchased to test their flavors. The company decided not to use the powders in their products as their flavors were too strong. They were not used in any of its products sold on the market, the company said, adding that it is planning to file a complaint with the Department of Health as the ministry released this information without adequate explanation.
Government authorities, however, have no immediate plans to add another category to the list of goods prohibited from being sold again if they contain additives laced with DEHP, DINP, DNO, DIDP, DBP, and BBP, the six most common plasticizers.
Sports beverages, fruit juices, teas, fruit jam and preserves, and food or food supplements in gel, tablet, pill, and powder forms are the five categories of foodstuffs on the list.
Kang Jaw-jou (康照洲), director general of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Department of Health, said yesterday that the FDA would not conduct an extensive inspection of the country's bakeries because it was short of staff.
But it would strike at the root of the issue by tracing the distribution of contaminated materials from their sources to end users.
Meanwhile, bakers were anxious to distance themselves from suspicious raw materials.
A spokesperson for Taipei Bakery Association said yesterday that clouding agents are not used in the production of baked goods, and bakers generally use more viscous fruit syrups than the more diluted fruit jams used in the making of drinks.
An investigation by the association has shown that none of its members are users of dubious materials, the spokesman added.
In Taichung City, where bakeries have seen a 30-percent decline in their business recently, bakery owners yesterday took an oath to report all products laced with toxic plasticizers as soon as they are discovered.