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Hong Kong to prohibit imports of plasticiser-tainted drink premix and fruit syrup produced in Taiwan (With Photos)

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) announced today (June 8) that it would prohibit from noon tomorrow (June 9) imports and supply of the following drink premix and fruit syrup:

Product name: ORIYEN Nutri Grow Orange Drink Premix (Boy)
Manufacturer: Jin Zhuan Lifesciences Enterprise Co, Ltd
Place of origin: Taiwan
Count/Weight/Volume: All count/weight/volume
Batch No.: All batches

Product name: Mango Syrup
Manufacturer: Chung Fai Food Co, Ltd (translation)
Place of origin: Taiwan
Count/Weight/Volume: All count/weight/volume
Batch No.: All batches

The CFS also ordered the trade (importer/distributor/retailer) to complete recall of the above two drink products available in the market according to the specified manner within 30 days from noon tomorrow.

The aforesaid items, if accompanied by a certificate issued by the relevant Taiwanese authority stating that the levels of plasticiser di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) do not exceed 1.5 parts per million (ppm) will be exempted.

"The CFS was notified by the Taiwanese authority on June 2 and 3 respectively that some food and drinks produced in Taiwan, including the drink premix and mango syrup, may be plasticiser-tainted. The CFS has taken immediate follow-up actions, including collecting samples of related food and drinks for testing," a CFS spokesman said.

The CFS released test results of these samples today. One sample of a drink premix with nutrition claims was found to contain DEHP and di-isononyl phthalate (DINP) at levels of 63 ppm and 6.8 ppm respectively. Another sample of mango syrup was found to contain DEHP at a level of 84 ppm.

The spokesman said, "Dietary exposure estimation revealed that the exposure to DEHP from daily consumption of one to two packs (22 grammes each) of the drink premix sample by a 12-year-old boy would exceed the safety reference value, i.e. the Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) of 0.025 mg/kg of body weight under the World Health Organisation (WHO) Guidelines for drinking-water quality (also exceeded the TDI of 0.05 mg/kg of body weight established by the European Food Safety Authority (ESFA) regarding a 12-year-old boy consuming two packs of the drink premix daily), which may pose a risk to human health.

"In addition, for consumption of the mango syrup sample (with 1:6 dilution), dietary exposure estimation revealed that the exposure to DEHP by average consumers (daily consumption of about 190 ml of the diluted drink) and high consumers (daily consumption of about 400 ml of the diluted drink) would exceed the safety reference value, i.e. the TDI of 0.025 mg/kg of body weight under the WHO Guidelines for drinking-water quality (also exceeded the TDI of 0.05 mg/kg of body weight established by the ESFA regarding high consumers), which may pose a risk to human health."

He noted that the acute oral toxicity of DEHP is low. As for chronic toxicity, DEHP was found to affect the liver and kidney as well as the reproduction and development of experimental animals. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that DEHP is possibly carcinogenic to humans.

Referring to the level of DINP (6.8 ppm) detected in the drink premix sample, the spokesman explained that it did not exceed the Specific Migration Limit for food contact materials of the European Union and the Mainland (both set at 9 ppm). Risk assessment also showed no health concern.

He said that DINP which is of low acute toxicity is lower in toxicity than DEHP. DINP was found to affect the liver and kidney as well as the development of experimental animals. While carcinogenic effects of DINP were observed in the rodent species in some studies, no relevant human data on its carcinogenicity are available.

The Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene is empowered to make an order to prohibit the import and supply of any food under Section 78B of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap 132), and to direct that any food supplied be recalled.

"The CFS has notified the trade of this new arrangement and urged them to take the initiative to suspend the sale of any food or drink that might be affected. We shall issue food alerts to the trade to keep them abreast of the latest information released by the Taiwanese authority as soon as possible," the spokesman added.

"The CFS also specified that relevant traders should suspend the sale of the drink premix with nutrition claims and other flavours of fruit syrup of the affected brands unless a certificate stating that the products are free from plasticisers can be provided."

Furthermore, the Centre has detected DEHP in the samples of the following honey peach syrup and strawberry syrup at levels of 19 ppm and 1.8 ppm respectively.

Product name: Honey Peach Syrup
Manufacturer: Chung Fai Food Co, Ltd (translation)
Importer: Good Young (HK) Co Ltd
Packaging: 20 Kg
Expiry date: April 15, 2012

Product name: Strawberry Syrup
Manufacturer: Chung Fai Food Co, Ltd (translation)
Importer: Good Young (HK) Co Ltd
Packaging: 2.5 Kg
Expiry date: March 3, 2012

Although the amount of DEHP contained in the samples exceeded the action level of 1.5 ppm adopted by the CFS, risk assessment results showed that consumption of the syrup sample with 1:6 dilution would not exceed the TDI of an average person/adult. As a precautionary measure, the CFS has requested the importer, which has already initiated recall earlier, to stop selling the two kinds of syrup.

Furthermore, the CFS has earlier collected samples of instant noodles produced in the Mainland. The test results of DEHP, DINP, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) so far were all satisfactory.

The CFS also learnt that a sample of Chuang's Square Cookies produced in Taiwan was detected with DEHP by the Macao authority. Noting that products from the same Taiwanese brand have been imported to Hong Kong, the CFS has immediately approached an importer Shun Shing (Hong Kong) Trading Company Limited which was requested to initiate recall. Major retailers were also advised to take the products suspected to be affected off shelves.

The spokesman said, "Test results will be uploaded to the CFS website (www.cfs.gov.hk). The CFS will continue to liaise with the Taiwanese authority on the plasticiser contamination incident, closely monitor the situation and take appropriate follow-up actions."


The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) announced today (June 8) the test results of samples of food and drinks produced in Taiwan . Among them, one sample of a drink premix with nutrition claims was found to contain di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and di-isononyl phthalate (DINP) at levels of 63 ppm and 6.8 ppm respectively. The CFS announced that it would prohibit from noon tomorrow (June 9) imports and supply of ORIYEN Nutri Grow Orange Drink Premix (Boy), as shown in the photo, in Hong Kong .


The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) announced today (June 8) the test results of samples of food and drinks produced in Taiwan . Among them, one sample of mango syrup was found to contain di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) at a level of 84 ppm. The CFS announced that it would prohibit from noon tomorrow (June 9) imports and supply of the mango syrup, as shown in the photo, in Hong Kong .

Ends/Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Issued at HKT 23:45

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Last revision date:08-06-2011