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Some PVC wrapper contains banned material
Updated: 2005-10-25 20:42

China's quality watchdog said Tuesday some PVC food wrapper available on the domestic market contain DEHA, a plasticizer banned by the Chinese law for food packing.

The PVC wrapper, or PVC cling film, is widely used at supermarkets for packaging foods and vegetables, according to sources on condition of anonymity.

Media reports on the PVC that could lead to cancer have drawn enormous public attention and prompted the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China (AQSIQ) to conduct the current investigation.

AQSIQ said DEHA, which was used to add plastics or other materials to make or keep them soft and pliable, would be released and enter human body with food after it was heated at a temperature of more than 100 Celsius or encounter fatty food.

The administration made the announcement following a survey of 44 varieties of PVC food cover film producers on the Chinese mainland since October 14.

The survey shows that there are 47 producers of food wrap film on the Chinese mainland in 12 provincial areas, and only six of them produce PVC food wrap films.

"I check the sign to make sure that no PVC is in the cling film," a lady surnamed Li said when shopping at Carrefour, a major chain supermarket in China. In the spot check, no PVC wrapper was found on the shelf.

"No PVC wrapper has ever been sold here, actually," Kuang Shihui, the salesperson responsible for the cling film shelf said.

"The sales volume of cling film is decreasing by 30 percent recently," Mi Ailing, a salesperson at Wang Fang Convenient Store said.

"The cling films on the shelf are not the key. These are safe wrappers," critics said, "consumers should focus on wrappers packaging fresh food at supermarkets."

Ninety percent of the supermarkets are using PVC wrapper, Zhang Wenxi, an expert was quoted by First Financial Daily as saying.

The PVC food wrap film plants are mostly owned wholly or partly by foreign investors with a total annual output of 10,000 tons.

Ninety percent is for the domestic market and the remaining 10 percent for exports, according to the administration.

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