News is that Taiwan and surrounding regions are dealing with the latest tampered food scandal. This time, the alleged offender has been pinpointed to an emulsifier supplier in Taiwan called Yushen Food Co Ltd, who purportedly sold the DEHP-tainted thickeners to food and beverage manufacturers.
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It appears that the end-product manufacturers were not aware of the illegal additive, which was used when natural emulsifiers like palm oil were deemed too expensive.
Plasticizers like DEHP (diethylhexylphthalate) are typically used for manufacturing PVC piping. Though there have been no confirmed reports of illness from the foods, adverse health effects of the substance have been linked to problems in male reproductive systems. High doses are said to cause testicular or kidney damage.
The contaminated products include sports drinks, juice products, health supplements and candies. No reports thus far have indicated whether any of the products have reached the US, but China has banned 950 products from 280 Taiwanese companies and yesterday there were reports that Taiwanese officials have begun destroying close to 287 metric tons of food products that are suspected to be contaminated.