Food safety alarms ring amid new revelations

By Sun Hsin-hsuan, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Following the recent revelations concerning tainted tea products, breakfast shops and bottled drinking water were discovered to be tainted yesterday, ringing another food safety alarm. Investigations yesterday led to the headquarters of Sanching Tea Manufacturer (�T�M�s��), the upstream supplier of 50 Lan (���Q�P). A 68,000-kilogram batch of tea leaves was confiscated as Sanching could not provide any test reports to show its tea leaves met official safety standards.

Officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA, ���ĸp) advised all tea chains to stop selling beverages made using tea leaves provided by Sanching. Coco Tea (Coco ���i) was the first to remove its green tea selections from menus yesterday. The Taipei Department of Health held a tea safety conference later yesterday with 13 tea chains participating. The chains involved were 50 Lan, Tea Plus (���ѯ���), Coco Tea, Share Tea (���}�F), Comebuy, Orange Tea (���l�\�{), Teapa Tea (�����|), Chatime (���X����), Chingshin (�M�ߺ֥�), Stornaway (�^����), Happy Lemon (�ּ��f�c), Cha For Tea (������) and Presto Tea (�A���D). According to the Taipei Department of Health, the chains agreed to join Food Tracer Taipei (�O�_�������n�����x), an online website where companies publish the sources, test reports and other details of ingredients. The FDA called upon local health departments to check on tea chains around the nation and said the inspections should be completed by the end of April. Breakfast Contained

Animal Drugs Piling onto recent food scares, the Consumer Protection Committee (CPC, ���O�|) discovered during routine inspections yesterday that seven products from breakfast shops around the nation contained traces of drugs intended for animals. Nicarbazin, ormethoprim, maduramicin and trimethoprim were found in breakfast shop meat and egg products.

According to the New Taipei City Department of Health, human consumption of some of these animal drugs may cause allergic reactions, cancer and other health issues.

Experts from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, said the public should not panic.

Chiuen Lih-ching (���R��), a researcher at the FDA, said that nicarbazin and ormethoprim are not carcinogenic. Trimethoprim can cause vomiting and nausea but based on the amount of the chemical found in the eggs in question, a 60kg person will need to eat 6,000 eggs a day to generate real effect to his or her health, Chiuen said.

The human body will discharge the chemicals if people drink enough water, Chiuen suggested.