Monitoring of Korean noodle products sought

Posted on November 12, 2012

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These Korean noodle products under the Nongshim brand continue to be sold in some department stores in Cebu despite a government ban. (LITO TECSON)

HEALTH and trade agencies were urged to monitor the importation of six Korean brand noodle items in Cebu following reports that they contain carcinogenic or cancer-causing ingredients.

A resolution sponsored by Provincial Board (PB) member Arleigh Sitoy cited a report from the Eco-Waste Coalition which said some local stores still sell the Korean noodle items despite an existing ban on it.

“This august body finds it appropriate to request the above mentioned agency considering that it is their function to regulate and monitor the said hazardous noodles in the market,” the resolution read.

Earlier this month, the national government ordered the recall of six brands of South Korean noodles from local shops after they were reported to contain benzopyrene, a cancer-causing chemical.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in a statement that the noodles made by Nongshim Co, “will be off the shelves immediately”, and called on the public to report if they were still being sold.

“The government is also undertaking inspection, collection and testing of other brands of noodles not currently identified to be contaminated as a precaution,” the statement on the agency’s website said.

The FDA said its South Korean counterpart found that the six brands contained benzopyrene in its tests. China, Taiwan and Vietnam all reported similar recalls of the same brands of South Korean noodles over similar health fears.

Last Saturday, Korean ambassador Hyuk Lee urged the government to lift the ban on the noodle items.

In a press conference held at the Cebu Country Club in barangay Banilad, Cebu City Hyuk said the Korean noodle items were safe to eat. Hyuk said the results of a Korean food agency and a Taiwanese group on the six brands of noodles showed that they weren’t harmful to eat.

The banned noodles are Nongshim Neoguri (Hot), Nongshim Neugori (Mild Hot), Nongshim Neoguri (Multi Hot), Nongshim Big Bowl Shrimp, Nongshim Saengsaeng Udon Bowl, and Nongshim Saengsaeng Udon.

Hyuk said he will meet with officials of the Departments of Health (DOH) and Trade and Industry (DTI) today to expedite the lifting of the ban./ Correspondent Carmel Loise Matus and Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol

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