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Hidden risk of plasticizers in people's daily life

(People's Daily Online)

08:25, December 27, 2012

Since China’s liquor industry was hit by the plasticizer scare, condiments and beverages companies have been also involved in the scandal. The micro-blog entry claiming that the amount of plasticizer in edible soy sauce, vinegar and beverage is 400 times higher than liquor has been forwarded 15,000 times a day.

Although the figure of "400" may be exaggerated, the micro-blog entry has uncovered the risk of plasticizer. If the plasticizer in liquor exceeds the standard due to productive technology and packaging, the other industrial products are also likely to contain excessive plasticizers.

Zhu Yi, associate professor of China Agricultural University has verified that soy sauce and vinegar in plastic packaging contain certain amount of plasticizers. Liu Chunhong, associate professor of South China Agricultural University, has found that more than half of instant noodles and rice noodles samples contain plasticizers. Scholars of Nanjing Agricultural University have also detected excessive amount of plasticizers in solid and liquid fat food, vegetables and fruits.

The issue of plasticizer has puzzled the public, which cannot be supervised only by media and public opinions. Plasticizer is a kind of risk material unfamiliar to people. In developed countries, there are strict regulations defining the amount of plasticizers in the children’s toys, medical equipment for pregnant women, food packaging, drinking water and the air.

Therefore, the health and quality supervision departments and industry associations should conduct a thorough investigation into all kinds of food and appliances in close contact with human body as soon as possible, release the amount of plasticizers and the possible risks in timely manner, clarify industry standards, implement the regulatory function, learn management experience from foreign countries, improve the related standards and disclose the information. If so, the public will not feel panic about the plasticizer any more.

Read the Chinese version: 还有多少塑化剂风险仍在“潜伏”, source: Beijing News, author: Li Huixiang

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