Monday, September 22, 2008

Is this safe?

The Star Online reported today that the Malaysian government has widened it's ban on dairy products imported from China to include confectionery that include milk, chocolate, chocolate milk, white chocolate and other foods that contain milk. This decision was apparently made following the discovery by Singapore's AVA that the `White Rabbit Creamy Candy' imported from China was found to be contaminated by melamine.

Out of curiosity, I was browsing through a supermarket to see whether are there any dairy products or confectionery products manufactured in China that are still on our shelves. I came across this bar of Skittles Candies (shown in picture) that cost me Rm1.49. A closer check revealed that this candy was manufactured by Mars Foods (China) Co Ltd. Made In China. Although there is no specific mention of milk or dairy related ingredient (as understood by a man on the street like me), the question is therefore, is this bar of candy safe for my child? Are there any other similar products in the market today? Honestly, I don't know but I am totally agreeable to ban all such related products from China.
In fact, I'm curious as to how our government safeguards the consumers against imported products to ensure that these products are safe and free from any contamination, or unsafe additives. Whenever we pick up a can of imported luncheon meat, corn beef, a packet of imported sausages, or a can of pickled vegetables or a bottle of imported oyster sauce, how can we be sure that they are safe? Or we would never know until someone somewhere falls seriously ill before we start banning such products. Are we therefore passive and reactive instead of pro-actively ensuring that all imported food products undergo stringent tests before they are allowed into the country? I wonder.............

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