Tue, Jul 29, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Chinese beers safe to drink, MOF says

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

After an investigation into 12 China-made beer brands, the government yesterday concluded that none of the brews contained enough cancer-causing methanol to cause harm to human bodies, an official at the Ministry of Finance said yesterday.

"According to our investigation, all beers -- both imported and domestic -- contain as little as under 0.4 parts per million (ppm) of methanol, which is not harmful at all to drinkers," Liu Teng-cheng (劉燈城), the director-general of the ministry's treasury department, told a press conference yesterday.

In other words, beer brands including China-brewed beers, American beers and locally made Taiwan Beer (台灣啤酒) all contained less than 0.4 ml of methanol, Liu said.

During the investigation, the ministry failed to collect samples from three brands -- Blue Belt Beer (藍貝啤酒), Yantei Beer (煙台啤酒) and Boss Beer, Liu said. "Therefore, we will continue to keep tabs on sales of these beers on a regular basis in the future," he added.

The ministry has requested that distributors provide it with details of the brewing process used to make the beers, since it is still illegal for the brewers to use methanol as an additive in the production.

"If brewers are found to be purposely using methanol as an additive in the beers, they may still face penalties," Liu said.

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