Flour sold here is safe for consumption, says Rosnah
4 June 2012
PUTRAJAYA: Flour sold in the country is safe for consumption as the content of bleaching agent benzoyl peroxide is below the international permitted level.
However, the Health Ministry will reconsider the matter if there is new scientific evidence from international health organisations that proves it is harmful,
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Rashid Shirlin said only 50mg of benzoyl peroxide was used for every kilogramme of flour.
She said the Codex Alimentarius Commission’s (CAC) permitted level was 60mg per kilogramme. (CAC is an international organisation that develops food standards.)
“Ours are even lower than that. Furthermore, safety studies carried out by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives confirmed that benzoyl peroxide does not cause any ill effects in food and is not carcinogenic,” she said.
Rosnah was responding to a memorandum from the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia urging the ministry to ban the use of benzoyl peroxide in flour sold in the country.
The association, in the memorandum handed to the ministry last week, cautioned that benzoyl peroxide was carcinogenic and could result in cancer.
Rosnah said Malaysia’s Regulation 42(2) of the Food Regulations 1985 allowed the use of benzoyl peroxide in not more than 50mg per kilogramme of flour as a food conditioner.
She added that other countries such as Singapore, Japan, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand were also using it.
“We constantly monitor and check all food products in the country.
“We are prepared to review the permission to use benzoyl peroxide in food if there is new scientific evidence from international health organisations that proves it is harmful to health,” she said.