On Monday (18 October), the Hong Kong Consumer Council had conducted tests on 60 pre-packaged biscuits, and all of them were found to contain cancer-causing substances and many of which had misleading nutrition labels too.
The biscuits were reported to contain genotoxic carcinogen glycidol or acrylamide or both, which are contaminants produced during processing. These substance is a chemical that often formed in some foods during high-temperature cooking processes, such as frying, roasting and baking.
According to SCMP, the among the top 5 biscuits that contains the most cancer-causing agents were Malaysian favourites such as Hup Seng Special Cream Crackers, Ritz Crackers Cheese Flavoured Sandwich, Jacob’s Original Cream Crackers 93% Wheat Cereal, and Oreo Mini Oreo Original.
In addition, over 75% (46 products) from the samples were found to contain 3 kinds of carcinogens (glycidol, 3-MCPD, and acrylamide) at the same time.
On the other hand, the council said food manufacturing companies are allowed a 20% deviation between the actual nutritional value of the product and the stated value on the packaging.
However, many were found to be not complying with the standards and are labelling them to their needs.
The council also noted that 38% (23 products) had their nutrient labels exceeded the 20% threshold and the most severe case was a sample of crackers detected with a saturated fatty acid (SFA) content that exceeded the labelled amount by 76 times.
The CEO of Hong Kong Consumer Council, Gilly Wong Fung-han has claimed that such a practice is “not very ideal”.
“Consumers, especially patients who have chronic illness and diabetes, rely on these nutrition labels to purchase the product.”
“Although we understand that the nutrient contents in products could not be 100 per cent the same as described, the discrepancy should not exceed the regulation.” she said.
Meanwhile, she also said the regulation had already taken into consideration that the nutrition contents in products cannot be controlled to follow the packaging 100% as described all the time. However, the discrepancy should not exceed the 20% threshold.
What do you think about this? Share your thoughts!