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Chemicals in food grade plastics are not harmful: Health DG

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 15): The leaching of chemical compound 'phthalate' from plastic packaging is not at a harmful level, says Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said the Ministry of Health through the Food Safety and Quality Division (BKKM) has been monitoring the safety of plastic materials including plastic packages, aluminium beverage cans, milk bottles, baby pacifiers, candy wrappers and snacks since 2002.

“Recent surveys conducted from 2017 to date on 130 food samples found no traces of ‘phthalate’ in them. The survey also found that food packaging materials available in the market were safe,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He said the BKKM would continue to monitor plastic packaging materials used for food products in the local market and keep up with international scientific developments to monitor the latest risks on food safety caused by plastic packaging materials.

Dr Noor Hisham said the use of harmful and hazardous packaging was prohibited under Regulation 27 of the Food Regulations 1985.

He said those who failed to comply with the rules could be fined up to RM10,000 or imprisoned for up to two years, if convicted.

The local media recently reported that toys and containers made of plastic sold cheaply at convenience stores, could have a negative impact on consumers' long-term health as they contained phthalate.

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