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DEHP inspections find chemical

By Fu Wen (Global Times)

13:35, November 24, 2011

Chinese mainland food and drug authorities have tested for DEHP, a toxic chemical used to shape plastics, in food products made by mainland companies for the first time, a month after the chemical scandal broke out in Taiwan.

The State Food and Drug Administration announced Saturday eight kinds of DEHP-tainted food and additives produced by four companies in Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces were found during inspection, according to the administration's website.

The administration tested DEHP in aromatic chemicals, green tea powder, ferment modifiers and a liquid shortening produced by three Guangdong companies and one Zhejiang company.

However, two Guangdong companies, Jiangmen Gaodi Food Ltd and Jiangmen Zhanwang Food Ltd, did not stop production as of Sunday afternoon, according to a report of Guangzhou-based Yangcheng Evening News. Both companies are owned by Taiwan-based food ingredients producer, Master Chu.

The four companies were caught during a sample survey by mainland authorities, covering 6,100 types of beverages, food products and additives being sold on the mainland, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Tainted products have been recalled, said the Food Safety Commission under the State Council, adding that no instant noodles in the 140 inspection samples had been found to contain DEHP, a Xinhua report said Sunday.

"Industrial-use chemical Bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, or DEHP, has low acute toxicity, but experiments on animals found if the chemical is taken in large amounts over prolonged periods, it can disturb the function of the hormone and reproductive system, as well as cause liver cancer," said a statement by the Ministry of Health last week.

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