Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

The Silent Threat: GM Food in Malaysia

Restrictions or outright bans on the production of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) exist in many countries worldwide. Yet Malaysia has approved eight genetically modified (GM) maize/corn products and six GM soybean products for food, feed and processing purposes. Besides these, approvals have also been given for the field trials of GM mosquitoes, papaya, and release of GM products for use as pesticides and fertilizers.[1] Most Malaysians are unaware of these approvals.

These approvals have been issued by the Department of Biosafety in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment under the National Biosafety Act 2007. The approved GM products for food, feed and processing have different traits, namely insect-resistance and herbicide-tolerance. However, these seemingly innocuous uses hide a multitude of risks that have not been addressed by the authorities adequately in spite of concerns and opposition raised by civil society groups including the Consumers’ Association of Penang, which have cited supporting scientific evidence. These risks include health, environmental, social, ethical and cultural concerns.

Widen the net on dirty outlets

The Consumers’ Association of Penang commends the health authorities for taking a bold move in closing down dirty restaurants in the state.

Every year more than a thousand offences are recorded. This should not be the case anymore. We should aim for zero offences.

 

Are you Eating Plastic?

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The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) cautions consumers from consuming food cooked using plastic ladles and spoons or hot food stored in plastic containers. From a public health perspective, heated plastic is an unnecessary source of exposure to harmful elements and stringent measures must be taken to prevent it.

The use of plastics has increased exponentially. Global plastics production in 2012 rose to 288 million tonnes – a 2.8% increase compared to 2011.

Plastics are in almost everything we use and inevitably is being ingested subconsciously by many. We certainly wouldn’t eat plastics knowingly but when you eat or drink things stored in plastic, especially hot food and liquid, plastics may be incorporated into us.


Publicise Names of Dirty Food Factories

The Consumers’ Association of Penang commends the Health Authorities in Penang for taking a bold move in closing down dirty food factories in the state. A similar crackdown should be carried out nationwide. Food safety should not be taken lightly.

 

Ensure Poultry Slaughtering Centres Have Halal Certificates

CAP calls on the government to ensure that all poultry slaughter houses that the poultry supplied to the Muslims should have halal certificates.

This matter is urgent in view of the doubts raised concerning the halal status of method and process of slaughtering chickens in the slaughterhouses in the country. The cleanliness of the centres have also come under wide criticism.