Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Fish safe to eat despite presence of formaldehyde

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: Fish sold in our markets is safe for consumption.
The assurance came from Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad yesterday following media reports that the fish contained high levels of formaldehyde, which could cause cancer.
"Analysis showed that the formaldehyde content is at a ‘permissible level’. There is no need for the public to be alarmed," he said.
Commenting on the presence of the substance, Dr Abdul Latiff said formaldehyde was produced naturally by certain types of fish.
"The amount varies according to the species," he said.
Dr Abdul Latiff said the ministry’s Safety and Food Quality Department had conducted joint research with the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia and the Fishermen’s Association, which confirmed the natural presence of the substance.
It was reported that the amount of formaldehyde found in fresh fish was between 0.02 and 0.1 mg/kg.
Dr Abdul Latiff said the current permissible level was not more than 5mg/kg under the Food Regulations 1985.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency Reference Dose, the oral intake of 0.2mg/kg per day of formaldehyde was deemed safe.

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