Recently, there is a big concern over Taiwan’s DEHP-tainted food. The common questions parents now ask are how safe is our food today and what are DEHP (di-ethyl hexyl phthalate) and how does it affect our child?
The recent Plasticizer DEHP news of Taiwan Yu Shen Chemical has created a stir in the globe. Numbers of Taiwan’s product were also immediately pulled off from the shelf in various countries.
Are you aware that this food scare is not only affecting our popular bubble tea such as KOI but also the health supplements and colorful jellies that kids consume?
How it started?
The plasticizer panic broke out in Taiwan after a food investigator discovered that some food and beverage products contained a clouding agent mixed with an illegal toxic food additive (DEHP) that is normally used ONLY to make plastics. The discovery triggered a public panic nationwide in Taiwan and the government launched a comprehensive food check.
What are the affected products?
“So far, the plasticizer Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) has been detected in the products of 47 local manufacturers of food and drinks that unknowingly used the tainted ingredient, all of which have to be recalled” says Hsu Ming-neng (許銘能), deputy director–general of the department’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Taiwan.
* Probiotic tablets for children in Taiwan has found that they contain abnormally high levels of the plasticizer DEHP, nearly 2,000 times higher than permissible levels, Taiwan’s Department of Health (DOH) said Monday (May 30).
What is Clouding Agent?
Clouding agent is an emulsifier to make emulsions in fruit jelly, yogurt mix powder, juices and other soft drinks more evenly dispersed. DEHP was used as a substitute for the more expensive palm oil in emulsifier by some unscrupulous producers.
How DEHP affects on children?
DEHP is toxic if ingested and can damage the liver, kidneys, and lungs, and is also known to cause reproductive and developmental disorders in children. The most commonly reported symptoms are an underdeveloped penis and testicles in boys and early puberty in girls leading to early mammary duct and mammary gland development.
Recent research by the National Health Research Institutes shown that children who consume 350ml of tainted fluid containing 12 parts per million (ppm) of DEHP on a daily basis for 12 consecutive months are six to eight times more at risk of developing problems with their reproductive system when they become adults.
DEHP is classified as Group 2B, or possibly carcinogenic to humans, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Updates of Taiwan Tainted Food Result in Singapore can be found at Government AVA web site.