Most consumers all over the world are unwittingly eating food produced from genetically modified (GM) crops. Even in Malaysia, most of us do not know that we may already be eating GM food as foods containing GM ingredients are already on sale here. Consumers unknowingly buy them, as foods containing GM ingredients may not be immediately apparent, unless it is stated in the label.
The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) is disturbed to learn that food products that may not be safe for consumption are being offered to customers at a discounted rate at a leading hypermarket in Penang. They are placed on a separate shelf under the banner heading “Reduced to Clear”.
We refer to the 2008 closure of a factory in Kepala Batas which produces seafood-based products.
The State Health Department authorities found that the factory operator had stored pork together with other products in the freezer, used a banned preservative and also used recycled oil for cooking. In addition, the oil was stored in unhygienic recycled plastic containers.
Children spend at least a third of the day in school and during this time, they eat at least one meal in the school canteen. This is especially so in most urban areas, where both parents work and are unable to find the time to pack lunches for their children.
Food is a vital growth and health factor in human life, and especially so for the growing child. It must not only be nutritious, but also healthy. This means we must ensure that meals served in schools are nutritious and healthy.
The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) calls on consumers to avoid eating instant noodles as it is harmful to health. Studies have shown that high sodium consumption is linked to a variety of diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, stroke and kidney damage.
In 2004 Malaysians consumed 870 million packets of instant noodles but by 2008 it had increased to more than 1,210 million packets. This is an increase of nearly 40 percent during the period of 4 years.