Taipei, A majority of dried Brazilian mushrooms being sold in Taiwan and randomly selected for testing were found to contain higher than permitted levels of lead and cadmium, the Consumers’ Foundation said Monday.
The foundation took samples of 25 types of mushrooms, including 13 dried Chinese mushrooms and 12 dried Brazilian mushrooms, from retail outlets and online shops for testing and label inspections, said Ling Young-chien (凌永健), the foundation’s head of product testing.
Of the 12 packs of Brazilian mushrooms that were tested, nine contained excessive levels of heavy metals, Ling said.
All nine had cadmium levels higher than the 2mg/kg permitted and one of the nine contained more than the allowed 3mg/kg of lead, according to the foundation’s data.
Long-term exposure to cadmium can damage the kidneys and cause bones to become fragile, while exposure to lead can result in chronic lead toxicity resulting in anaemia, fatigue, nausea and diarrhea, and can have serious consequences for the health of children.
According to the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation, food businesses found to supply products with excessive levels of heavy metals may be ordered to correct the situation within a prescribed time period or face a fine between NT$30,000 (US$1,050) and NT$3 million, Ling said.
He also called on the government to strengthen customs inspections to prevent the entry of food products containing excessive levels of heavy metals into Taiwan.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel