Fri, May 27, 2011 - Page 12 News List

More firms caught up in DEHP-contamination scare

By Jason Tan  /  Staff Reporter

More products are falling victim to a scare over Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, or DEHP, with Taiwan Sugar Corp (Taisugar, 台糖) saying the withdrawal of a single supplement alone cost it more than NT$10 million (US$346,380) in losses.

The company is recalling “ginger oyster clam tablets” (薑黃蠔蜆錠), which contain lactic acid bacteria to soften ginger.

Raw materials of the acid bacteria were supplied by a company in Changhua County that appeared to be the source of the toxic DEHP, the state-run company said in a statement.

The Changhua firm reportedly added the banned industrial plasticizer to an emulsifier as a substitute for the more expensive palm oil.

Taisugar sent the tablets in for testing, and the result is due today. To ensure product safety, it decided to take proactive measures by withdrawing the supplements from the market — a move that is set to cost it more than NT$10 million, it said.

The sugar supplier also sent four other products in for DEHP testing, saying “fructooligo saccharide lactic acid bacteria” came out positive. It is awaiting for the test results for the other products and will keep consumers posted.

Hey Song Corp (黑松) yesterday said a lactic acid bacteria product in its Fruit House (纖果園) brand also used raw materials from the Changhua supplier, and it was pulling the product from shelves.

Three other suspected products have been temporarily withdrawn pending tests, it said.

These two companies are among 47 local food and beverage makers facing a government recall of potentially contaminated products in connection with the toxic plasticizer.

Yesterday afternoon, the nation’s four major convenience store operators — President Chain Store Corp (統一超商), FamilyMart (全家), OK-Mart and Hi-Life (萊爾富) — pulled all sports drinks from their shelves.

President Chain, which operates 7-Eleven stores, said it received results showing Supau (舒跑), Pocari Sweat (寶礦力水得) and Fin from Hey Song were free of DEHP contamination, and would start putting them back on shelves later in the day.

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