MoH lifted ban on Chinese food products, warns against toxic substance
The Ministry of Health has lifted the ban on the Chinese products, reported the daily local papers today. The papers reported that: ‘The ban has been lifted after the ministry is satisfied with the precautionary measures and steps that have been taken by the General Administration on Quality Monitoring, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China in handling the melamine contamination in food products, including milk and dairy products. In relation to this, all food products originating from China and produced on or after 10 February 2009, can be imported and sold in Brunei’.
Okay, so its almost the end of April now and hope consumers should always check the manufacturing/ expiry dates before purchasing any food products.
The ‘melaminegate’ hit most of the world last year especially in China itself where thousands of young children were affected, some even deaths. I reported in my blog in September last year when, at last the ministry banned the selling of all China-made milk products and dairy items in light of the baby formula scandal.
Some of the lists in my other post were the popular Dutch Ladymilk drinks – banana, honey dew and strawberry milk, Animal Party biscuits (lets party now?) and the White Rabbit candy.
I can think of the reputation of China products now. Image (or brand) takes a long time to be established but can be tarnished in just one day. As a consumer, I don’t think I want to buy any at the moment, let’s see in a couple of years.
In a separate article, the ministry now warns against toxic substance called ethylene glycol found in most hot/ cold packs though they said that none of the products are being sold in Brunei. I think such products are popular among athletes and travellers, as they are handy and fast relievers of tense muscles or sprains.
The list of products, according to the ministry:
- Surgipack Soft Hot/ Cold Pack Large and Small,
- Soft R&R cold/ Hot Pack M.4 and L,
- OSIM uBaby Fever Band (mothers take note)
- OSIM Shoulder Pad
- OSIM uKids Fever Band (again, moms)
- OSIM Face Mask (let me check if I have this)
- OSIM Eye Mask, and
- OSIM Hot/ Cold Compress.
What I found out about the liquid is that Ethylene glycol (monoethylene glycol (MEG), 1,2-ethanediol, IUPAC name: ethane-1,2-diol) is an alcohol with two -OH groups (a diol), a chemical compound widely used as an automotive antifreeze. In its pure form, it is an odorless, colorless, syrupy, sweet tasting, toxic liquid. It is used in coolants (such as automobiles), hydrate inhibition (such as in long multiphase pipelines that convey natural gas from remote gas fields to an onshore processing facility) and many more.
According to the National Institute for Occupational safety and health, the major danger from ethylene glycol is ingestion. Due to its sweet taste, children and animals will sometimes consume large quantities of it if given access to antifreeze. Upon ingestion, ethylene glycol is oxidized to glycolic acid which is, in turn, oxidized to oxalic acid which is toxic. Ingestion of sufficient amounts can be fatal.
Hotline for the Food Safety & Quality Control Division is 2331100/ 5/ 6/ 8/ 9 or 0 or fax: 2331107.