Thu, Nov 14, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Magazine says sauce packs contain heavy metal traces

By Lin Mei-hsueh, Jennifer Huang and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

A magazine yesterday alleged that edible oil and sauce packs from instant noodles products from six companies contained residual traces of heavy metals.

The Chinese-language Business Today magazine said it tested the oil packs following comments made by edible oil businesspeople that “the oil packs in instant noodles have even greater problems” amid the recent edible oil scandal.

At the end of last month, the magazine purchased instant noodles from supermarkets and hypermarkets around Taipei and sent the oil packs they contained to SGS Taiwan for laboratory testing.

Of the seven products sent for testing, the sauce packs from a chicken noodle soup and a beef noodle soup product made by Vedan contained minute traces of copper, a sauce pack from the Wu Mu brand contained traces of arsenic and copper, and a spicy beef noodle product’s sauce pack from Master Kong, a sauce pack from a Shin Ramyun product, and a pickled cabbage and beef noodle soup product’s sauce pack from Uni President’s were found to contain traces of arsenic, copper and lead.

A rice noodle product from A-she brand had also been found to contain the aforementioned heavy metals and also traces of mercury, the magazine said.

The report also included an interview with the Consumers’ Foundation’s editor committee, which said that though it was inevitable that residues of the more toxic heavy metals would appear in foodstuffs, once the amount of residues exceeded the human body’s level of tolerance they would disrupt the normal biological functions.

An unnamed committee member interviewed by the magazine also said that as there were no standards for heavy metal residues in sauce packs for instant noodles in the country, it was impossible to tell whether or not the residual amounts in the sauce packs exceeded human tolerance levels.

In response, the brands named in the report said that the residues of heavy metals found in the sauces packs were common in the environment and in other foodstuffs, adding that as the sauces were made from plants, fruit and natural oils, the residual amounts were well within legal standards and there was no reason for consumers to be concerned about the report.

The brands also said that as the government had not set a legal limit on the levels of trace metals in the products, the discovery of the metals had no legal ramifications.

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