February 24, 2024

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American Pizza Sauce Exported to Taiwan Found to Contain Carcinogen Ethylene Oxide

American Pizza Sauce Exported to Taiwan Found to Contain Carcinogen Ethylene Oxide



American Pizza Sauce Exported to Taiwan Found to Contain Carcinogen Ethylene Oxide

Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration announced its latest border interception results on February 5th. A batch of Domino’s pizza sauce imported from the United States by Taiwan Keguo Co., Ltd. was found to contain the carcinogen ethylene oxide, violating regulations prohibiting its presence.

Approximately 19,050 kilograms were intercepted at the border and did not enter the market. The Taiwan FDA stated that this was the first violation and would escalate from random sampling to intensified inspection.

American Pizza Sauce Exported to Taiwan Found to Contain Carcinogen Ethylene Oxide?

In response, Domino’s Pizza issued a statement stating that they had immediately ceased using the current pizza sauce and had begun offering domestically produced alternatives at all their stores across Taiwan. They emphasized that this was the first instance of such a substance being detected in their products and assured consumers that they would continue striving to uphold food safety and high-quality standards.

On February 6th, the Taiwan FDA released updated border interception results, revealing that a batch of Domino’s pizza sauce imported from the United States was found to contain 1.3 mg/kg of the carcinogen ethylene oxide, violating regulations prohibiting its presence. Approximately 19,050.9 kilograms were intercepted at the border and will be returned or destroyed according to regulations.

Deputy Director Lin Jinfu of the Taiwan FDA informed reporters that ethylene oxide is commonly used in sterilization for spices, suggesting it may be an ingredient in the pizza sauce’s spices. This being the first violation, inspections will transition from random sampling to intensified inspection.

Furthermore, four batches of strawberries imported from Japan were intercepted at the border due to excessive pesticide residue. According to the FDA’s statistics, out of 447 batches inspected from July 29th last year to January 29th this year, 18 were deemed non-compliant, accounting for 4.03%, with pesticides such as flonicamid and acaricides detected.

Lin Jinfu stated that border surveillance will be maintained, with 100% batch-by-batch inspection until April 30th. As problematic products primarily originate from nine manufacturing plants, imports from these facilities will be suspended for one month.

According to information from the Bureau of Toxic Substances and Chemicals of the Environmental Protection Administration, ethylene oxide is a toxic chemical substance that is harmful if ingested or inhaled, causing skin and severe eye irritation, potential carcinogenicity, genetic defects, and harm to reproductive abilities or fetuses.

Dr. Yan Zonghai, Director of the Clinical Toxicology Center at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, pointed out that ethylene oxide is classified as a Group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO). Currently, only a few countries such as the United States and Canada allow the use of ethylene oxide in spices and sesame as a sterilization agent.

Domino’s Pizza responded by stating that they highly value food hygiene and public health. They collaborate with globally renowned suppliers and implement measures such as regular inspections and strict quality control to ensure food safety at high standards.

Domino’s Pizza stated that upon learning that a batch of pizza sauce from their supplier was found to contain trace residues of substances not permitted in Taiwan during import customs inspection, they immediately ceased using the sauce in their stores. They also actively coordinated with Taiwanese suppliers to provide domestically produced alternatives that comply with Taiwanese food regulations at all their stores across Taiwan.

Domino’s Pizza indicated that they are closely cooperating with the health department for further testing to ensure that other batches of pizza sauce do not contain residues of this substance. Currently, Domino’s Pizza outlets across Taiwan are not using any batches of pizza sauce under suspicion. They have also sent their existing sealed products for inspection by SGS and are awaiting the test results.

 

 

 


Why does Ethylene Oxide cause cancers?

 
Ethylene oxide is classified as a carcinogen because it has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals and is considered likely to cause cancer in humans based on sufficient evidence from studies.

There are several mechanisms through which ethylene oxide can induce cancer:

  1. DNA Damage: Ethylene oxide can react with DNA, forming adducts or cross-links, which can interfere with normal DNA replication and repair processes. This can lead to mutations in critical genes, including tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes, potentially promoting the development of cancer.

  2. Disruption of Cell Signaling: Ethylene oxide can disrupt cellular signaling pathways involved in the regulation of cell growth, proliferation, and apoptosis (programmed cell death). Dysregulation of these pathways can contribute to uncontrolled cell growth and the formation of tumors.

  3. Production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS): Ethylene oxide metabolism in the body can generate reactive oxygen species, which are highly reactive molecules that can cause oxidative damage to DNA, proteins, and lipids. This oxidative stress can contribute to cellular damage and increase the risk of cancer development.

  4. Alkylation: Ethylene oxide can alkylate (add alkyl groups to) nucleophilic sites in proteins and other biomolecules, leading to functional changes that may contribute to carcinogenesis.

Overall, the carcinogenicity of ethylene oxide is thought to result from its ability to interact with cellular components, disrupt normal cellular processes, and induce genetic mutations, ultimately promoting the development of cancer.

American Pizza Sauce Exported to Taiwan Found to Contain Carcinogen Ethylene Oxide


Source: Yahoo Taiwan

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