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Statement On Golden Mountain Soya Bean Sauce

27 July 2001

DIRECTOR GENERAL OF HEALTH PRIVILEGED STATEMENT

UNDER SECTION 37 OF THE FOOD ACT 1981

Director General of Health Karen Poutasi today warned the public to avoid consuming Golden Mountain Soya Bean Sauce (Seasoning Sauce).

There was a voluntary consumer recall of this product in Australia this week after tests found it contained potentially cancer-causing chloropropanols that significantly exceeded acceptable levels.

Golden Mountain Soya Bean Sauce (Seasoning Sauce) is manufactured by Thai Theparos Food Products Public Company Limited. Dr Poutasi advised against consuming any soy sauce products of this brand, which is imported from Thailand.

The Ministry of Health has identified about 10 importers of this product in New Zealand.

"I expect these importers to take urgent steps to ensure this product is withdrawn from the marketplace", Dr Poutasi said.

There has been international concern about the presence of chloropropanols in some soy-based sauces.

An emergency food standard to ensure the safety of soy sauce was gazetted yesterday by the Ministry of Health.

It declares soy sauce, flavoured soy sauce and sauce mixtures with a soy sauce base as prescribed (high risk) foods. An interim limit of 1.0 mg/kg for the chloropropanol 3-MCPD will be applied to these products until risk assessments are completed and a permanent limit for chloropropanols is set through the joint food standard setting system with Australia.

"We have issued the standard to help protect New Zealand consumers and prevent serious harm by minimising the risk that people who eat a lot of soy sauce products will develop cancer."

The emergency food standard will remain in force for six months or until a permanent amendment to New Zealand's food standards is introduced.

Some importers and local manufacturers are assuring the Ministry of Health that their products meet the interim limit. Details of brands that have satisfied the Ministry of this have been posted on our website at www.moh.govt.nz and are regularly updated.

Detailed information on the emergency food standard is also available on the Ministry's website.

For more information contact: Anne-Marie Robinson, Media Advisor, ph: 04-496-2067 or 025-802 622 http://www.moh.govt.nz/media.html

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