Testing urged for carcinogen found in batches of cooking oil

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 January, 2013, 3:28pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 January, 2013, 5:17pm

A Legco panel on Thursday passed a motion urging the government to amend the current law to allow for the monitoring of a cancer-causing chemical recently found in certain batches of oil imported from the mainland.

The non-binding motion, by the Legislative Council’s food safety and environmental hygiene panel, was put forward by lawmaker Wong Kwok-hing during a meeting at which the panel discussed the production, sale and use of substandard cooking oil.

The motion was supported by all lawmakers who attended the meeting.

Secretary for Food and Health Dr Ko Wing-man said at the meeting that he would ask the Food Safety Centre to regularly test for the chemical, Benzo[a]pyrene.

The meeting was held in response to recent media reports about an unlicensed establishment supplying suspected substandard cooking oil to local restaurants.

The reports caused widespread public concern over the safety of cooking oil used by local restaurants.

“Each time, the government responds only after problems are revealed,” Wong said. “It is not doing its part and has not addressed the public’s concerns.” said Wong.

Catering sector lawmaker Tommy Cheung Yu-yan said the catering industry supported the monitoring of Benzo[a]pyrene in imported cooking oil.