Philippine health authorities banned at least 15 food products from Taiwan over the weekend for supposedly containing harmful additives.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said even Taiwan’s government suspended the sale and distribution of such products that contain maleic acid, an unapproved food additive that could potentially harm the kidney.
“Maleic acid is NOT an approved additive for manufacturing food products. Long term consumption of high levels of maleic acid could harm the kidney,” the FDA said in its advisory.
The FDA noted Singapore’s Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AFVA) reported the contamination after testing the products.
The banned food products from Taiwan are: Hong Tapioca Starch, Redman Black Tapioca Pearl, Sun Right Indica Rice Powder, Top 1 Tapioca Pearls, Tea World Tapioca Starch Ball, Unbranded Starch Ball, Ding Long Tapioca Pearls, Sun Chi Noodles;
T & M Resources Corp Tapioca Pearls, Pure Tea Tapioca Pearls (White), Pure Tea Tapioca Pearls (Black), Full Free Green Tea Tapioca Ball, Full Free Yam Tapioca Ball, Long Kow Vegetarian Instant Rice Noodle and Long Kow Rice Noodle with Thick Soup.
“The ban shall continue to remain in force and in effect until such time that these products are first registered in the country by an FDA-licensed food establishment with proper testing of presence/absence of maleic acid to the said products,” the FDA said.
The FDA said it will continue to monitor food products from Taiwan in the Philippine market.
The FDA advised consumers to buy and consume products that are registered with the FDA, which are listed on its website (www.fda.gov.ph) under the Consumers Corner.
RITCHIE A. HORARIO