Up to 70 percent of milk and dairy products sold in Taiwan contain residues of chemicals and drugs used for livestock animals, which can be harmful to humans, according to an investigative report from the Chinese-language Business Weekly published today.
The contaminated products were produced by some of the nation’s leading dairy companies, such as Uni-President, Wei Chuan, Kuang Chuan and Taiwan Bifido.
Chemical residues ranged from antibiotics, plasticizers and anti-depressants to contraceptives, estrogen compounds and other pharmaceuticals.
Business Weekly said it commissioned Chen Liang-yu (陳良宇), a professor of biotechnology at Ming Chuan University in Taipei, to undertake analysis studies of dairy products.
Chen’s analysis presented four major findings:
‧ Antibiotics: All samples were found to contain metabolite of the antibiotic pyrimido Azepine.
‧ Plasticizers: All samples were found to contain the plasticizer dibutyl phthalate. The following had contaminants from two or more plasticizers: Ruisui Brand Chocolate Flavored Milk from Uni-President, Papaya Milk from Wei Chuan, Good Friend Cocoa Milk from Taiwan Bifido and High Quality Pure Milk from Kuang Chuan.
‧ Estrogen and Contraceptives: Ruisui Brand Chocolate Flavored Milk from Uni-President was found to contain tetrachloro-o-benzoquinone, a metabolite of estrogen and contraceptive drugs. Homogenized whole milk from Kuang Chuan contained hydroxy-norgestrel-methyloxime, another metabolite.
‧ Tranquilizers and Anti--Depressants: Good Friend Cocoa Milk from Taiwan Bifido contained clomipramine, a metablite of tranquilizer and anti-depressant drugs. The Dr Milker Whole Milk brand from Uni-President contained dehydroxyl-vincadine, another metabolite from this class of drugs.
Officials at the Food and Drug Administration said as this was a report from the private sector, local health bureaus would now monitor dairy products and send samples for analysis.