BKKM to probe cancer biscuit claims

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BKKM to probe cancer biscuit claims

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 Bhd, Bloomberg reports.

The Hong Kong Consumer Council last Monday said 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) holds HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) and Health Ministry certificates,” Malaysia’s Food Safety and Quality Division said in a statement on Friday, citing an early investigation.

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

Hup Seng said its “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”, a company representative said in a statement yesterday.

The company said it would cooperate with authorities in the investigation.

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

On Oct 18, the reported that the council also revealed 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 — that emerged during the processing of the biscuits at high temperatures. Animal testing indicated that the genotoxic carcinogens may induce cancer, the council said.

Council CEO Gilly Wong Fung-han reportedly said that according to its findings some of the ingredients in the biscuits were palm oil.

Palm oil refined at high temperatures carries potential carcinogenic risks, said the European Food Safety Authority.

It was also reported that the council had urged manufacturers to review their production formula and called on authorities to impose benchmark levels on top of existing guidelines for the local industry. Nst

BKKM to probe cancer biscuit claims

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