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August 10, 2012

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Chemical found on food packages

SOME famous brands such as Lipton, Master Kong and Kraft Foods were found to have packaging with excessive fluorescent agents, which could lead to cancer.

Beijing-based International Food Packaging Association said it conducted tests on the packages of instant noodles and individual servings of milk tea powder bought from Shanghai and Beijing supermarkets in May. The association found that 36 of the tested samples reported excessive level of fluorescent agents on packaging, which accounted for almost 60 percent of products tested.

On the list are Lipton milk tea powder, Master Kong beef noodle, Kraft's banana and milk taste biscuit, Nissin's shrimp meat instant noodle and Jinmailang beef noodle.They are available at Shanghai supermarkets and stores.

"Some companies take advantage of the deficiency in China's rules regarding products with disposable food bowls and cups over fluorescent agent requirements," said Dong Jinshi, association secretary general.

Pulp paper should be used for the packaging and the use of fluorescent agents should be limited to below five square centimeters per 100 square centimeters, according to the national standard of paper used to package food.

Some producers use dual standards for the inner paper and outer paper of food packages because of the loophole. They send the inner paper to be tested, but wrap it with an outer layer of poor-quality paper packaging, Dong said.

He called for improvement of the regulations.

Food makers involved were either unavailable yesterday or said they were investigating.

Francis Xu, a local white collar worker, said: "I will try to avoid buying those products being exposed, but I cannot avoid consuming other products of these brands because they are big names."

He added, "I get used to food scandals ... but I still feel helpless as a consumer."


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