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CFS follows up on drinks containing brominated vegetable oils

    The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) today (November 13) noted that in view of media reports that drinks produced in the United States were found to contain brominated vegetable oils (BVO) by the Taiwan authority, the CFS has followed up immediately and found no affected product available for sale in Hong Kong so far.

    "The CFS is very concerned about the media reports and has taken follow-up action immediately, including contacting major retailers and conducting sales checks at local retail outlets. The affected product as reported, the citrus-flavoured Mountain Dew drinks (355ml), has not been found on sale so far," a spokesman for the CFS said.

    The spokesman pointed out that product of other flavour from the same brand was found available for sale, but the product was made in Mainland China and BVO was not listed on the food label.

    "In Hong Kong, the law stipulates that all foods for sale must be fit for human consumption. Taking into consideration the opinion of the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives that BVO should not be used as food additive and that there are available alternatives, the FEHD made known to the trade and public in 2005 that BVO should not be used in foods in Hong Kong. The Expert Committee on Food Safety also agreed during their meeting held in early June 2014 that BVO should not be used in foods," the spokesman said.

    At present, BVO is not allowed to be used as food addictive in many places (including Mainland China, European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Japan). However, the United States and Canada still allow limited use of BVO (the maximum permitted level in certain fruit-flavoured beverages is 15 parts per million).

    The spokesman reminded again the food trade to ensure that their food is fit for consumption and not to use BVO in food in Hong Kong.

    The CFS has contacted the Taiwan authority and will continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action.

Ends/Friday, November 13, 2015
Issued at HKT 20:55


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