TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Excessive pesticide and metal residues have been detected in dried mushrooms sold at retailers in Taipei and New Taipei cities, warned the Consumers’ Foundation (CF).
Over 40 percent of 25 dried mushroom samples bought on the market in Aug. were found to have contained dangerous levels of insecticides or metals, said the non-profit organization on Monday (Nov. 2). They were 13 samples of shiitake and 12 packs of almond mushrooms.
The products were purchased in supermarkets, traditional markets, herbal medicine shops, and dried foods stores. The countries of origin for the 12 packed foods included nine from Taiwan, one from China, one from Brazil, and one from South Korea, reported UDN.
Nine of the 12 almond mushroom packs were laden with lead or cadmium at levels exceeding that allowed by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, posing health risks to humans.
The ingested lead will be absorbed into the bloodstream and cause damage to various organs and the bones, leading to anemia and affecting mental and physical development in children. Cadmium poisoning can result in nausea, kidney damage, and fragile bones.
The CF called for tighter import controls and inspection of mushroom products and the set-up of a Cabinet-level food safety response platform to better and more timely address the issue of problematic foods, according to CNA.