Mon, Feb 27, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Excessive additives making health products unhealthy
過多添加物 健康食品不健康

(Left to right) Hsu Hui-yu, director of the John Tung Foundation’s nutrition division, Lin Wei, a professor in Chinese Culture University’s Department of Food, Health, and Nutrition Science, and Chin Hui-min, director of Taiwan Dietitian Association, hold a press conference on last Monday discussing whether health products are actually healthy.
董氏基金會食品營養組主任許惠玉(左起)、文大食品暨保健營養學系教授林薇、營養師公會聯合會理事長金惠民上週一舉行「健康食品,健康嗎?」記者會。

Photo: Lu Chun-wei, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者鹿俊為

Are government-certified health products trustworthy? During a press conference last Monday, the John Tung Foundation and the Taiwan Dietitian Association said there were numerous loopholes in the Department of Health’s (DOH) health food control policies. They alleged that the standards for issuing certifications are too vague and liberal, and that this is causing consumers to ingest bellyfuls of artificial additives, while businesses obtain certification as a means to engage in unfair competition. Experts are stridently calling on the government to undertake a comprehensive investigation of the legislation, allowing the huge misnomer that has been confusing people so much — health product — to quickly become a term of the past.

Early this year, the John Tung Foundation tested 74 health products and discovered that 17 of them had suspicious ingredients and nutritional values. Most of them were found to have excessive amounts of artificial flavoring, coloring, spices, and other similar additives. The director of the foundation’s nutrition division, Hsu Hui-yu, says that the Health Food Control Act only considers the safety and health functions of a single or a few ingredients, neglecting overall nutritional value. This has allowed products the government labels as health products to actually have less nutritional value and more artificial additives than ordinary food products. If eaten in large quantities, these products can be pernicious to a person’s health.

Feng Jun-lan, deputy section chief at the DOH’s Food and Drug Administration, said the Health Food Control Act has been in effect for over a decade, and that only slightly more than 200 products have received certification, which is a relatively small number. Two years ago the DOH added regulations concerning the amount of sugar that can be added to health products to the conditions for certification, and has already undertaken measures regarding calorie intake. In facing the public’s demand to abolish certification, she expressed concern that it would not be a good thing if manufacturers could sell their products without having to run tests and pass examinations.

(LIBERTY TIMES, TRANSLATED BY KYLE JEFFCOAT)

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. trustworthy adj.

可信的 (ke3 xin4 de5)

例: Is this a trustworthy source?

(這是個可信的來源嗎?)

2. comprehensive adj.

通盤的 (tong1 pan2 de5)

例: Experts conducted a comprehensive study of the ecosystem before publishing their findings.

(專家對這個生態系統做通盤的調查後才發表其成果。)

3. consider v.

考量 (kao3 liang2)

例: Adam doesn’t usually consider the outcome of his actions, so he’s always getting into trouble.

(亞當通常不會考量他行為所造成的後果,故常惹麻煩。)


政府掛保證的健康食品,真的可信嗎?董氏基金會與中華民國營養師公會全聯會上週一召開記者會砲轟衛生署健康食品管理政策漏洞百出,認證發放標準籠統寬鬆,誤導消費者吃下一肚子人工添加物,業者也透過取得認證來惡性競爭,專家疾呼政府應通盤檢討法令,讓誤導民眾甚鉅的「健康食品」一詞,儘速走入歷史。

董氏基金會今年初抽查市售七十四項健康食品,發現有十七項在成份與營養價值上有疑慮,大多添加過多的人工調味劑、著色劑、香料等各式人工添加物。董氏基金會食品營養組主任許惠玉指出,健康食品管理法只考量單一或少數特定成份的安全性與保健功效,卻忽略整體營養,造成某些政府掛保證的「健康食品」,成份與營養價值不如一般食品,卻含有更多人工添加物,吃多了可能有害健康。

食管局食品組副組長馮潤蘭則指出,健康食品管理法上路十多年、總共核可的認證不過兩百多張,數量很少。至於糖份方面,衛生署自前年已納入健康食品認證的條件之一,也已進行熱量攝取宣導。面對民間要求取消認證,她則擔心,如果完全不管理,讓廠商不用做試驗、審核,就在外面販售,未必較好。

(自由時報記者王昶閔、洪素卿)

This story has been viewed 2609 times.
TOP top