Tue, Nov 27, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Most tofu products contain hydrogen peroxide: TSU

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

A majority of tofu products sold at wholesale and traditional markets contain hydrogen peroxide, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) claimed yesterday.

TSU spokeswoman Chou Mei-li (周美里) told a press conference yesterday that product testing conducted by the party showed that eight out of 15 tofu products purchased from three of Taipei City's supermarket chains and one traditional market in Nangang District (南港) contained hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide is a weak acid that has strong oxidizing properties and is used as a bleaching agent and disinfectant. Reactions to an overdose of hydrogen peroxide include headache, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea, skin eruptions or ulcers.

Chang Mei-ying (張美瑩), a TSU staffer commissioned to do the survey, said that product testing was conducted twice this month, with the reagents provided by the city's Bureau of Health.

Hydrogen peroxide is not allowed in foods, but most of the products tested reacted positively to the reagent. Some of the products showed an instant reaction, and some took about a day to show a reaction, she said.

The three wholesale markets covered in the test were RT-Mart, Carrefour and Kuma Supermarket.

Chou said that public health was one of the party's prime concerns and called on the government to come up with a comprehensive plan to more effectively manage and supervise the quality of locally produced food products.

She said that an examination of tofu products conducted by the Bureau of Health in June found 46 percent contained undesired additives, adding that they continue to be sold in supermarkets.

"This administration has completely ignored the health of consumers and turned a blind eye to enforcement of regulations," Chou said. "Their inspection regime is nothing but a show."

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