TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday (Sept. 5) announced that 900 kg of Vietnamese instant noodles tainted with a carcinogen and American cherries containing a banned fungicide were among the items that failed import inspections.
In its latest announcement of products that failed border inspections, the FDA listed 10 non-compliant products, such as fresh cherries from the U.S., Pu'er tea powder from China, black pepper powder from India, sesame seeds from Thailand, seafood-flavored instant noodles from Vietnam, frozen yellow mushrooms from France, and spinach from Australia, reported CNA. These items were found to have exceeded pesticide limits or had other non-compliance issues, and they were either returned or destroyed.
Instant noodles from Southeast Asia again appeared on the list of non-compliant items. In this case, 921.6 kg of "Hot Seafood Flavor Noodle," made by Cong ty Co phan Acebook Viet Nam, were found to be tainted with a banned substance.
Lin Chin-fu (林金富), FDA deputy director, explained at a press conference that the "chili packets" in this batch of instant noodles were found to contain 0.1mg/kg of the pesticide ethylene oxide. Lin told CNA that according to FDA statistics, ethylene oxide residue has been found in seven batches of instant noodles, including the batch announced that day, so far this year, with the products originating from Vietnam, South Korea, and Indonesia.
Sample of American cherries that failed inspection. (FDA image)
In addition, two batches of U.S. cherries were found to contain the residue of a fungicide called mefentrifluconazole. They were both produced by Gebbers Farms and imported by Lica Fresh Co., LTD. (利佳貿易有限公司).
Lin stated that as of Tuesday, there have been 35 batches of American cherries imported with non-compliant pesticide residue issues, originating from four different manufacturers, reported the Liberty Times. The FDA already requested a proposal on improving the situation of imported U.S. products on July 21, and they reiterated the request on Aug. 10.
The U.S. responded on Sept. 1 with two commitments including strengthening requirements for U.S. farmers and exporters to comply with Taiwanese regulations and continuous monitoring of pesticide residue to ensure compliance with regulations.
According to information on the website of the Environmental Protection Administration's Toxic and Chemical Substances Bureau, ethylene oxide is considered a toxic chemical substance. It can be harmful if swallowed or inhaled, causing skin and severe eye irritation. The substance has been associated with carcinogenic effects and some evidence points to it potentially causing genetic defects, reproductive harm, or fetal injury.