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Hong Kong Consumer Council Finds Cancer-Causing Substances In Hup Seng Biscuits Can Affect The Kidneys & Fertility

Cancer-causing substances were detected in all 60 samples of pre-packaged biscuits and crackers tested by Hong Kong’s consumer watchdog, which also found that 40 per cent of the products carried misleading nutrition labels.

The Consumer Council also revealed on Monday that most of the analysed snacks – including crackers, sandwich biscuits and wafers – were high in fat, sugar or salt.

The watchdog said the full set of samples contained contaminants – glycidol or acrylamide, or both – which emerged during the processing of the biscuits at high temperatures. Animal testing indicates the genotoxic carcinogens may induce cancer, the council says.

“We believe that these kinds of contaminants are possible to avoid because according to our findings some of the ingredients in these biscuits are palm oil … You can minimise the contaminants as much as possible,” said Gilly Wong Fung-han, CEO of the council.

Cancer-causing substances were detected in all 60 samples of pre-packaged biscuits and crackers tested by Hong Kong’s consumer watchdog, which also found that 40 per cent of the products carried misleading nutrition labels.
The Consumer Council also revealed on Monday that most of the analysed snacks – including crackers, sandwich biscuits and wafers – were high in fat, sugar or salt.

Palm oil refined at high temperatures carries potential carcinogenic risks, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

The Joint Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Food Additives said it was inappropriate to publish guidance specifying intake limits for genotoxic carcinogens and instead suggested keeping consumption to as low a level as reasonably practicable.

A third contaminant, 3-MCPD, was also found in the samples. EFSA said it was considered safe for most people but excessive consumption on a daily basis could lead to possible long-term adverse effects on the kidneys and male fertility.

Three-quarters of the biscuits were detected with all three types of contaminants.

Consuming eight pieces of the biscuit sample with the highest 3-MCPD level would lead an adult to exceed the tolerable daily intake limit for the contaminant, falling to three for a 5-year-old boy, according to EFSA recommendations.

“For consumers, you should eat these biscuits as little as possible or replace them with a healthier choice. If you really need to eat them, be disciplined and controlled,” she said.

The council urged manufacturers to review their production formula and called on authorities to impose benchmark levels on top of the existing guidelines for the local industry.

The benchmarks should make reference to European standards for food such as fries, crisps, biscuits and crackers which have a higher risk of containing excessive levels of acrylamide, according to the council.

About 85 per cent of the tested samples were also high in fat, sugar or sodium. Thirty-three of the biscuit types reached the “high fat” benchmark, meaning a total fat content of more than 20g per 100g serving.

The saturated fatty acid (SFA) found in the samples varied widely, with the highest readings almost 19 times the lowest ones.

A serving of the product containing the most SFA – the Gastone Lago Wafer with Lemon Cream at 23.7g – would account for 29 per cent of a person’s recommended daily intake as set by WHO.

The Fu Shang Zhi Pin Cheese Soda Cracker (no sucrose) was found in the study to have the highest glycidol levels, while the Muji Shiruko Sandwich Cracker was top for acrylamide.

The watchdog also found that 23 of the products had labels claiming nutrient levels that exceeded their actual value by 20 per cent, the maximum tolerance allowed. Three of the 60 samples were exempted from labelling rules.

Wong said the misleading labelling was “not very ideal”. “Consumers, especially patients who have chronic illness and diabetes, rely on these nutrition labels to purchase the product,” she said.

“Although we understand that the nutrient contents in products could not be 100 per cent the same as described, the discrepancy should not exceed the regulation.”

In the most extreme sample, the YBC Levain Classical Cracker was detected with an SFA content 76 times higher than the stated level. The finding has been reported to the Centre for Food Safety.

The watchdog suggested consumers considered healthier alternatives when snacking, pointing to fresh fruit, unsalted roasted nuts, seeds and low-sugar soy milk as options. Biscuits are not a substitute for regular meals, the council added.

Source : SCMP

Harmful Cancer-Causing Chemicals Detected In Hup Seng Cream Crackers, Might Affect Male Fertility

Muji Shiruko Sandwich Cracker had 620 mcg/kg of acrylamide, which is almost double the safe limit.

Fifty-six of the samples were found to contain 3-monochloropropane (MCPD), which can affect the kidneys and male fertility.

EFSA recommends the daily intake of the contaminant should not be more than 120mcg for a 60kg adult. But some of the sampled biscuits had 2,000mcg of 3-MCPD for every kilogram.

“For consumers, you should eat these biscuits as little as possible or replace them with a healthier choice,” said Gilly Wong, Consumer Council representative.

“If you really need to eat them, be disciplined and controlled.”

Source : Juice

The carcinogens found were glycidol, and/or acrylamide, which cause our central nervous systems to fall into depression and is known to cause cancer.

The Hong Kong Consumer Council says glycidol and acrylamide are produced in high-temperature processing of biscuits.

Malaysia is looking into the findings by Hong Kong’s consumer watchdog that cancer-causing substances were detected in biscuits and crackers including those produced by Hup Seng Industries, according to a statement on Friday.

Hong Kong Consumer Council on Monday announced that the 60 samples of pre-packed biscuits and crackers it tested contained cancer-inducing elements such as glycidol or acrylamide. The council also found that 40 per cent of the products analysed had misleading nutrition labels.

“The factory premises of (Hup Seng) hold HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) and KKM (Malaysia’s health ministry) certificates,” Malaysia’s Food Safety and Quality Division said in a statement, citing an early investigation.

The division of the health ministry is also conducting a verification on the company’s premises, it said.

Earlier, the council also revealed that most of the analysed snacks – including crackers, sandwich biscuits and wafers – were high in fat, sugar or salt.

It said the full set of samples contained contaminants – glycidol or acrylamide, or both – which emerged during the processing of the biscuits at high temperatures. Animal testing indicates the genotoxic carcinogens may induce cancer, the council says.

“We believe that these kinds of contaminants are possible to avoid because according to our findings some of the ingredients in these biscuits are palm oil … You can minimise the contaminants as much as possible,” said Gilly Wong Fung-han, CEO of the council.

Palm oil refined at high temperatures carries potential carcinogenic risks, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

The Joint Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Food Additives said it was inappropriate to publish guidance specifying intake limits for genotoxic carcinogens and instead suggested keeping consumption to as low a level as reasonably practicable.

A third contaminant, 3-MCPD, was also found in the samples. EFSA said it was considered safe for most people but excessive consumption on a daily basis could lead to possible long-term adverse effects on the kidneys and male fertility.

“For consumers, you should eat these biscuits as little as possible or replace them with a healthier choice. If you really need to eat them, be disciplined and controlled,” Wong said.

The council urged manufacturers to review their production formula and called on authorities to impose benchmark levels on top of the existing guidelines for the local industry.

Hup Seng is one of the leading makers of biscuits in Malaysia, according to its website. The company couldn’t immediately comment.

Source : SCMP

Now, both Hup Seng and Jacob’s have released an announcement stating that their biscuits are completely safe for consumption.

Being a socially responsible food manufacturer since 1958, product quality and safety have always been our first and foremost priority.

We wish to ensure that our special cream crackers manufactured and marketed in Malaysia are fit for human consumption and are in compliance with the local regulations, quality standards, and food safety standards. We will extend our fullest cooperation to the authorities in their investigation, if required.

We sincerely thank all our loyal customers and employees for your ongoing support.
Hup Seng in a responding statement to TRP

Mondelēz International (Malaysia), parent company of Jacob’s, has also given their statement regarding the alleged claims.

We know how important it is for consumers to trust the quality and safety of the products that they choose, and this is at the heart of how we make our products. At Mondelēz International, we have a strict food quality assurance and management system for the products we make, and our products are safe to consume. All our products made and sold in Malaysia comply with the local regulations and food safety standards.

In our efforts to ensure we continuously provide the right products, the right way, we use best industry practices that are in line with regulations to empower our consumers to snack right.

Mondelēz International (Malaysia) in a responding statement to TRP

Health Ministry To Investigate

Bloomberg reports that the Health Ministry will be investigating this matter.

The Food Safety and Quality Division under MOH notes that Hup Seng factories hold HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) and Health Ministry certificates.

Hup Seng’s shares fell 2.7% to 91 sen on Friday, the most in two months.

Source : TRP


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