Korean embassy wants ban on Korean noodles lifted
MANILA, Philippines - The Korean embassy in Manila on Friday, November 9, asked the government to lift a ban it imposed on 6 Korean noodle brands that have been reported to contain a cancer-causing substance.
In a statement, the embassy said the Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) issued a certification on Wednesday, November 7, claiming the level of benzopyrene in the powder used to flavor the noodles was not harmful to the human body.
"Given this serious situation, the Korean Embassy request the appropriate measures of the Philippine government including the expeditious lifting of the ban on the 6 Korean noodle brands." The noodle brands are owned by Nong Shim Co. Ltd.
The KFDA found in its latest test, that the level of benzopyrene in the powder ranges from 0.4 to only 1.6 parts per billion (ppb), noted the embassy.
The embassy said this is much lower than the limit set by the Korean government for wet smoked fish products of 5 ppb, and dried smoked fish of 10 ppb. The European Union has set the same standards for its wet smoked fish products.
"Other countries, such as Japan and the United States, did not set specific standards for benzopyrene in smoked fish products, but recommended its industries to voluntarily reduce the presence of the said organic compound to the lowest possible level," the embassy said.
The embassy also said all foreign countries, with the exception of the Philippines and Thailand, have lifted the ban on the importation of the 6 noodle brands.
Taipei authorities have also conducted its own test, which showed the noodles are not harmful to consumers.
"The ban on the importation is seriously impacting the exporters and importers of the Philippines and Korea as well as the image of Korean-made noodles," the embassy lamented. - Rappler.com