Wed, Jun 03, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Officials caution over melamine tableware items


The Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection said yesterday that it was studying Japan’s methods of testing tableware made of melamine and would collaborate with the Department of Health to set a limit on the amount of melamine released by food containers.

The government has not established a test to determine the amount of melamine released from utensils and tableware made from melamine resin, although it has set limits on the amount of formaldehyde that can be released.

The Consumers’ Foundation conducted a test based on Japanese methods that found that 100 percent of the 20 melamine-resin tableware products tested released melamine when filled with hot food or drink.

The foundation said on Monday the tests that showed that all 20 samples contained excessive amounts of melamine. Eight of them had no warning against microwave use, the foundation said.

It recommended consumers use stainless steel and ceramics instead of melamine tableware.

Bureau Deputy Director Wang Cheng-huei (王正輝) said the bureau would obtain more information on Japan’s testing methods.

Given the Consumers’ Foundation experiment, consumers should not use melamine products for hot food or in the microwave, he said, adding that manufacturers should clearly label their products.

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