The Consumers Foundation on Friday urged the government to tighten control and regulation of chopsticks after it discovered that some utensils marketed as being made from high-grade stainless steel were made from inferior materials.
In August, the foundation randomly bought 10 brands of chopsticks from stores in Taipei and New Taipei City, as well as online, Foundation secretary general Hsu Tse-yu (徐 則 鈺) said at the meeting. a press conference in Taipei.
Five brands were labeled as being stainless steel, while four claimed to be melamine and one was alloy steel.
Photo courtesy of the Consumer Foundation via CNA
Foundation inspector Ling Yung-chien (凌永健) said that among the stainless steel chopsticks, only two are made from 300 series stainless steel, which is considered safe for people to eat.
The other three brands were made from materials that could not be classified according to the national standards of the Republic of China of Taiwan, Ling said.
All four brands of melamine passed both lead and cadmium inspections, he said.
While all four brands of melamine passed a test for dissolving residual solvents, one failed tests for the production of potassium permanganate and formaldehyde, he said.
Failure of the potassium permanganate resistance test means the products could likely “disgorge” substances, such as dyes and plasticizers, that could be harmful when ingested, Ling said.
As the WHO has considered formaldehyde to be a carcinogen that could cause birth defects, the foundation said utensils made with such substances should be immediately removed from shelves.
The foundation urges the government to establish better chopstick testing protocols to help ensure people’s health and well-being, Hsu said.
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