KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry (MOH) has given the assurance that the use of bleaching agent “benzoyl peroxide” in wheat flour and food, is safe and permitted according to Food Regulations 1985 under the Food Act 1983.
In fact, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said MOH’s monitoring over 202 samples of a variety of flour in the market since 2014 showed that all the flour samples had adhered to the regulations.
He explained that the substance had also been assessed and certified safe for use in food by international rating agencies, namely Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA).
“Hence the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), which is an international body established under JECFA had authorised the use of benzoyl peroxide in wheat flour,” he said in a statement here today.
He was commenting on a video which has gone viral on social media highlighting claims by the Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association of (PPIM) that benzoyl peroxide in wheat flour could affect health.
Noor Hisham said that the addition of benzoyl peroxide in wheat flour has so far been permitted in other countries such as Japan and the United States, while Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code allowed it to be used in all foods.
He said the ministry was always mindful of things that could threaten the health of consumers and would not hesitate to take action if there were scientific evidence from international bodies such as Codex and JECFA to prove that substances in food were hazardous to health.
He added that the public could contact the nearest district health office or state health department or visit MOH website at http://moh.spab.gov.my or its facebook at www.facebook.com/bkkmhq if they have any concerns about food safety issues. — Bernama