Mainland stops imports of tainted drinks from Taiwan

Updated: 2011-06-01 17:12
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BEIJING - As of June 1, the Chinese mainland will suspend imports of beverages, food products and food additives from Taiwan that are produced by companies suspected of using a cancer-causing plastic additive.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (GAQSIQ) said on Wednesday the mainland has been notified by authorities in Taiwan that some drink and food products may have been contaminated with di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate or DEHP, a liquid that is used by manufacturers to soften plastic.

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Food safety drive targets supervision

The GAQSIQ said it would enhance inspections, tests and supervision over food and food additives imported from Taiwan to protect the health of consumers in the mainland.

According to a GAQSIQ statement, only beverages, food products and additives produced by manufacturers that have been certified DEHP-free by qualified laboratories can be imported.

More than 4,800 beverage bottles, which were produced by Taiwan Yes Sports Drink and suspected of DEHP contamination, have been reportedly recalled in the mainland.

DEHP is widely used as a plasticizer in the manufacturing of items such as medical tubing and intravenous bags.

Children are especially prone to the harmful effects of high doses of DEPH or to repeated exposure, which can lead to testicular or kidney damage and fertility problems.