Subramaniam: Ministry to study chopsticks containing chemical preservatives

15 Mar 2016 / 12:53 H.

    KLANG: A study of disposable bamboo chopsticks is to be carried out to determine whether they contain chemical preservatives that can pose serious health risks as claimed in news reports.
    If the reports prove accurate, the sale of the chopsticks would be stopped, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam while stressing that he did not want to "pre-empt anything".
    "Normally, when we have this kind of reports, we will study and look for scientific evidence before coming up with a conclusive decision.
    "We need to check on the basis of the news reports first," he told the media after attending the 'Manavar Villa' youth programme at the SJKC Pandamaran B hall here today.
    He said if the chopsticks were found to contain harmful chemicals or preservatives above the permissible level, the ministry's Food Safety Department would act to prevent its sale.
    A video has gone viral about Taiwan allegedly banning made-in-China chopsticks which were said to contain high level of chemicals.
    Due to this, the Consumer Association of Penang (CAP) has warned of the dangers of using disposable chopsticks.
    CAP research officer Hatijah Hashim was reported to have said that disposable chopsticks were often made of bamboo and would most probably have been submerged in chemicals to help preserve them.
    On another subject, Subramaniam said there had been no report of Zika virus cases in Malaysia and that his ministry would continue to screen travellers from Zika-hit countries.
    On the dengue situation, he said dengue cases numbering 3,500 about a month or two ago, had dropped to 2,700 last week. — Bernama

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