Chinese authorities this week seized 5,069 cans of green tea powder that tested positive for DEHP. The tea is one of eight tainted products discovered by China to be manufactured with Taiwanese ingredients containing the banned chemical.
China halted imports of 950 Taiwan products manufactured by 280 companies following the revelation 10 days ago that manufacturers had used DEHP as a substitute for palm oil to enhance color and texture of foods including sports drinks, juices, tea, fruit jams, syrups and bubble tea mix.
Last week Taiwan took the unprecedented step of inspecting thousands of grocery and convenience stores for compliance with a requirement to post food safety certificates in beverage and food aisles. Taiwan government inspectors visited 16,000 stores and destroyed 2.3 tons of beverages suspected of containing the chemical. The DEHP or di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate is a plasticizer that in high doses is linked to cancer and can cause testicular problems for boys, kidney damage and fertility problems in girls.There have been no reports of ill effects from the tainted foods.
Sales declined steeplyfollowing the news. A dozen Asian countries have banned Taiwan goods and losses are expected to exceed $10 billion in Taiwan currency (US$350 million).
The Jiangmen Goody’s Food Co., Ltd. of Taiwan, which produced the green tea powder, recalled 2,899 cans according to a company spokesperson. Officials in Jiangmen City also sealed raw materials stocked by the Jhan Wang Food Co.
Sources: China Daily