Saturday, May 28, 2011

DEHP Food scare Round Up

Really loving the new Canon Powershot S95. This was done with the color accent function that can render everything B&W except one selected color, in this case red.

The Taipei Times reports:
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, recent research by the National Health Research Institutes showed.

Institute president Kenneth Wu (伍焜玉) said DEHP is suspected to be an endocrine disruptor, which could lead to the shrinking in size of the penis and testicles in men and thyroid dysfunction.

DEHP’s effect on children is magnified, because the concentration of the harmful chemical is higher in persons with a lower body mass.

“The health risk of an adult consuming the same amount of DEHP beverage is reduced by half,” Wu said.

The result was based on statistics from a US study in the 1980s that tested DEHP on rats.

“We are not yet sure of the health risks of DEHP on humans because little academic information was found,” Wu said.

“But we hope that the incident can help us understand more of the hazard’s ratio.”
Wu said that since DEHP is released from the body naturally within five to 12 hours, the health risks for infrequent consumers are relatively low.
Lawmakers in Taiwan immediately proposed harsher penalties for food adulteration. Like that will work. The China Post adds:
During yesterday's press conference, Deputy Justice Minister Chen Shou-huang noted that prosecutors in southern Changhua County, which are responsible for investigating the case, have already seized money from the company's owner, surnamed Lai, that he earned by selling the additives.

The move came after authorities received intelligence that Lai had withdrawn all his money from several different bank accounts following the incident. Prosecutors also seized Lai's assets.

Also yesterday, prosecutors in the county raided dozens of food and beverage manufacturers' factories that were found to be using Yu Shen's additive in their products.

A total of 12 factories, including facilities in Taipei, New Taipei City, Changhua County, Nantou County and Pingtung County were searched yesterday, the prosecutors said.
Some famous local brands have been affected. The China Post has some details:
The crisis has caught up with 168 food industry businesses over the last few days, forcing them to discard about 1 million units of their products and feeding fears that their business reputation may become tarnished.

Even state-run enterprises such as Taiwan Sugar Corporation (台糖) and the Taiyen Co. Inc. (台鹽) have to withdraw products made with plasticizers, including some best-sellers, and submit them for testing to SGS, a professional testing company. Already, Taiwan Sugar's Oligo Lactic Acidic Bacteria (寡醣乳酸菌), a best-selling item, was found to be safe.

Uni-President and Weichuan, two giants in the food industry, are said to be checking other products made with raw materials not sourced from Yu Shen Company (昱伸公司), a long-time producer of the additive and the suspected source for the contamination.

Uni-President, Taiwan maker of sports drink Pocari Sweat, says it does not use much plasticizer in its products.

Brand's (白蘭氏), maker of health food the Brand's Chicken Essence, yesterday announced the immediate withdrawal of a calcium tablet and a vitamin tablet, while promising consumers a refund. The two products, made by a Taiwan manufacturer for Brand's and marketed under the Brand's label, have been found to be laced with DEHP. Prince Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.(王子製藥股份有限公司), the manufacturer, has admitted to sourcing materials from Yu Shen while bracing for possible lawsuits against it by Brand's.
The China Post notes that just 49 of the 168 companies involved have confirmed use of the additive.

Not only have the share prices of all local food firms taken a beating, but the scandal has also impacted the reputation of food products from Taiwan. The US FDA is apparently monitoring Taiwan products for DEHP, which is used in industry to make plastic soft and pliable. According to the various news reports, DEHP is not retained in the body for more than several hours, so if you drink and eat DEHP containing products irregularly, you apparently have little to worry about. Which is good, because with the traffic, there is already enough to worry about here....
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Readin said...

What is the penalty if you put poison in one person's drink? What is the penalty if you invite someone to dinner an intentionally put harmful chemicals in their food? Isn't that a kind of assault? It seems to me the guy responsible should be charged with 23 million counts of assault.

Anonymous said...

They allow everything edible and hot to be placed in plastics, even styrofoams so it's no wonder more sinister chemicals abound in things we can't see.

Hope the DPP and Miss Tsai will tacke this issue hard instead of those 'green card' issues.

Anonymous said...

"Hope the DPP and Miss Tsai will tacke this issue hard instead of those 'green card' issues."

I won't even bet my 20 cents on that... the DPP is afraid to offend the styrofoam and plastic users for 'vote' reasons.

Anonymous said...

EU Risk Assessment confirms no general risk to human health from DEHP

The European Union has confirmed that DEHP poses no general risk to human health. The summary of a comprehensive European risk assessment, involving nearly 15 years of extensive scientific evaluation by EU regulators, was published in the EU Official Journal on February 7 2008 (Commission Communication C/2008 34/1 and Commission Recommendation L 33/8).

The assessment demonstrates that DEHP poses no risk to the general population and that no further measures need to be taken to manage the substance in any of its key end-use applications. This confirms an earlier opinion of member state experts and an opinion from the EU Scientific Committee for Toxicity, Ecotoxicity and the Environment (CSTEE) adopted in 2004.

Anonymous said...

Making sports drinks appear more appealing is certainly not a "key end-use application." It's mostly kids who will consume these kinds of processed products and kids, with low body-mass not to mention those still yet to reach puberty, who will be most easily affected.

Anonymous said...

DEHP plasticizer has been present in food in Taiwan for over 30 years.

For toys and baby products, It was permanently banned in European Union in 2005, in US since 2008, but not yet in Australia.

It is important to find out who leaked this news; given the everything is politics thinking of Chinese regimes, it is likely a diversion from serious concerns to the citizenry.

Derek said...

DEHP is kind of phthalate, or generally called plasticizer.

It has adverse harm on reproduction, especially Male.
This time, we got problem in food and beverage, and next time we got in Containers.

U know what!? DEHP is primarily used in PVC containers, espcially for drinks, children plastic toys, and food jar.

Law is legislated in EU for Children’s product, for not more than 0.1% phthalate.
Also, USFDA commented in 2005 on the use of DEHP in PVC for medical apparatus. They highly recommended Polypropylene PP and PET as substitute.

PET is shiny and good in transparent. PET is most importantly,FDA approved food grade material.

In long run, PET and PP should be the trend in plastic industry.

I got lots of information about plasticizer and their substitute. Please contact me for enquiry.

Mr. Li said...

Sport Drinks sounds healthy and energetic. And now, energy drinks make Male loss their "energy" due to the DEHP.

The trend of the beverage world is changing, they are directed to the "REUSE" and "refill-able" side. PVC and PC containing DEHP is not a good choice.
Recent years, renowned chemical company Milliken has developed a clear solution for Polypropylene PP. Weili plastics from HK has the technique to make clear PP in sport bottle.

Seems clear PP is a good way to turn down DEHP in sports drink.

Chickpea said...

Thank you for posting this. My family and I live in Hsinchu. Been here for 8 years. It sickens me to think that my oldest child has drunk some of that stuff. I'm a bit of a health nut, so she doesn't get it often, but still...WHAT WERE THEY THINKING! I know this sounds cruel, but his punishment should be that all the contaminated drinks/foods are given to HIS family to consume.

Carol said...

This chemical has long been a scare to households. Were they able to identify exactly which food should be avoided?

Anonymous said...

Yu Sheng Chemical Co, the company that sold the DEHP intermediate products, is based in China. It's funny that China is freaking out about Taiwanese food and safety when they were the ones that sold the contaminated supplies to Taiwan. Though, at the same time, Taiwan should've known better than to trust China. It should've tested the incoming materials.