Melamine-Tainted Products ‘Still on Bali Shelves’
DENPASAR ~ The Bali Consumer Institute criticized the Food and Medicine Monitoring Board this week for not yet disposing of foods containing the toxic chemical melamine, an official said.
“Foods containing melamine are dangerous for people’s health and should therefore be taken off the shelves and destroyed immediately,” Institute director Ketut Udi Paryudi said on Tuesday.
Food containing melamine – a chemical used in plastics manufacturing that when added to food products appears to boost their protein level – have been discovered in an array of Chinese-made products, starting with baby formula last month that left four Chinese infants dead and at least 53,000 others ill.
The scandal has since widened to include other products, many of which are exported from China, such as biscuits and eggs (International; Pg 8: China’s Tainted Egg Woes Spread Across the Country).
Paryudi said that based on Indonesian consumer protection laws, consumers had the right to be guaranteed safety when buying food.
“If it has been proven that some products contain melamine, why have they not yet been disposed of when other countries have done so?” he said.
Meanwhile, the head of the Consumer Protection Foundation in Bali, I Putu Armaya, said the board should dispose of the foods without waiting for confirmation from the central government.
Armaya also said producers of products containing melamine should be taken to court.
“They could be sentenced to five years in jail and fined Rp2 billion (US$200,000),” he said.