Monday, June 13, 2011

Alarm in China and Taiwan to detect a carcinogen in foods

Beijing .- Chinese health authorities found eight types of food produced in the country the chemical DEHP potentially carcinogenic and that in recent weeks has caused a major health scare in neighboring Taiwan, reported the independent daily newspaper South China Morning Post. The substance DEHP (di-2-etilhexilftalato), generally used to soften plastics, but that apparently has been used in the food industry to improve the appearance of the products was found in products manufactured by three factories in Guangdong province ( southern China) and one in Zhejiang (East), said the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA).

Among the products involved are normal green tea powder, hydrogenated oil and sesame, osmanthus scents and flavors like guava and almond, detailed the SFDA, which took place 6100 analysis of 15 types of products in 28 of 30 country's administrative divisions. The contaminated products will be banned and withdrawn from the market, said the SFDA is responsible for food safety in China.

It is the first time is in products made in China this substance, which in May was found in products manufactured on the island of Taiwan, prompting the Chinese authorities announced the suspension of imports of 948 kinds of drinks, food and food additives Taiwanese suspected of being contaminated.

DEHP is widely used as a plasticizer for the manufacture of items such as medical tubing and intravenous bags, and can cause testicular damage, kidney disease, fertility problems and even cancer. Children are particularly sensitive to exposure to this material, experts say. On the island of Taiwan, the discovery of the substance has created the worst food scandal of recent decades in the territory, where sectors such as beverage makers have been hit and destroyed 286 tons of contaminated products.

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