Tue, Sep 11, 2012 - Page 5 News List

Tests rebut claims about carcinogenic German bubble tea

Staff writer, with CNA

A Taiwanese bubble tea drink operator in Germany made public on Friday test results that showed the ingredients in its products are safe for consumption, rebutting a media report that the beverage may contain chemicals that could cause cancer.

The results of the tests, conducted by a German government-certified lab, showed the ingredients in the beverage conform to German health regulations, said Lai Ming-ching, owner of Berlin-headquartered teashop chain BoBoQ and Possmei, a Taiwan-based manufacturer of bubble tea drink ingredients.

Lai was rebutting a report published on Aug. 21 by German newspaper Rheinische Post that said the drink contained carcinogenic chemicals such as styrene, acetophenone and brominated substances.

The media report said samples were collected from an unnamed franchise chain in Moenchengladbach, Germany, and tested by RWTH Aachen University and instrument firm Leco Instrumente GmbH.

Der Spiegel, a German news magazine, also ran the report and said most of the materials were imported from Taiwan.

Lai said such negative reports have led to a loss of business in BoBoQ’s 100-plus franchised stores. The company intends to collect evidence and may take legal action against the media outlets that ran “false reports” against BoBoQ’s products, he said.

Taiwan’s representative office in Germany also issued a statement dated Aug. 31, saying food items in Taiwan are monitored under the Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法).

It said that Taiwan carries out regular checks to make sure exported goods comply with the legal requirements of the destination countries.

Meanwhile, on Sept. 2, German radio station Deutschland Radio reported that the tests cited in the Rheinische Post article did not specify examination methods or the amount of cancer-causing substances found in the drink.

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