Chemical in food from Taiwan eyedPhilippine Daily Inquirer
The government is closely monitoring food products and additives imported from Taiwan that might contain a chemical that could be harmful when taken in high doses, a health official said yesterday.
Director Suzette H. Lazo of the Food and Drug Administration said the food products may have been contaminated with the chemical Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP).
“The Taiwan government has informed the Department of Health that a company may have exported to the Philippines food products containing additives contaminated with DEHP,” Lazo said in a statement.
“Efforts to trace the local counterpart of this company are currently in progress,” she added.
Widely used in the manufacture of plastic articles like intravenous bags and tubing, blood bags and infusion and gastric tubes, DEHP was “found to have been illegally added” to a food product raw material intended for emulsification in Taiwan, Lazo said.
She said that while low doses of DEHP were generally safe, high doses or prolonged exposure could have harmful effects.
Children are specially prone to the harmful effects of high doses of DEHP or to repeated exposure which could lead to testicular defects, fertility problems and toxicity in kidneys, she added. Philip C. Tubeza