China Bans Eight New Food Additives

Posted June 12th, 2011 at 9:45 pm (UTC-5)
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China has banned eight new food additives after they were found to be tainted with an industrial chemical.

The state food and drug administration has ordered catering companies to stop using products contaminated with DEHP that may cause hormonal disfunction in children if consumed in large doses. Primarily employed in the manufacture of plastics, DEHP is also used to improve the color and texture of food items and beverages.

The official news agency Xinhua reported Sunday that the banned additives include a guava flavoring made by a Guangzhou company, a green tea powder, liquid butter oil and egg milk-flavored oil made by Jiangmen Goody's Food and a bread yeast additive produced by Jiangmen Jhan Wang Food. All of the companies are based in the southern Guangdong province.

The food and drug administration has also banned osmanthus, green tea and almond flavoring additives produced by a food additive manufacturer in the city of Hangzhou in eastern Zhejiang province.

Officials ordered food caterers to seal and recall banned products they have already purchased. They also urged local authorities to tighten food inspection.

Taiwan began a similar food safety action several weeks ago after DEHP was discovered in popular beverages and food items.

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou Saturday witnessed the destruction of about 12 tons of food believed to be contaminated with the plasticizer. He told the concerned public that the government is determined to ensure food safety.

Taiwanese authorities Friday ordered a recall of thousands of food products and parliament voted to increase penalties for violating food safety regulations.

Mainland China and the island have agreed to strengthen cooperation and exchanges on food safety, as well as nuclear power plants.

Xinhua quoted a Chinese official Sunday as saying that the two sides are negotiating for an agreement of cooperation on improving food supervision and inspection.

China has worked to improve its food safety standards since the discovery in 2008 that melamine-tainted milk caused the death of six infants and made another 300,000 sick.