Arsenic in squid snack sparks investigation So just how much arsenic is tolerable in your dried squid snack? The Consumer Council and Centre for Food Safety stuck to their guns yesterday and said there was no dispute or conflict between the two departments about the findings of high levels of arsenic in a dried squid snack product. On Monday the Consumer Council claimed it would test fresh seafood for arsenic levels after uncovering what it claimed were startling amounts of the potentially deadly substance in dried squid, cuttlefish and other products. The consumer watchdog tested 65 samples of dried meat and fish products, including 26 samples from Macau, where many tourists buy them. But the Centre for Food Safety then seemed to contradict the findings, reportedly saying the 35.5mg per kg of the poison found in the Vietnamese product Topvalu Chigiri Kensaki Surume did not exceed the recommended World Health Organisation limit. The council had said eating three 90 gram packets of the product would see the normal 60kg person exceeding the 0.9mg limit in a week, possibly leading to skin lesions, liver damage and even cancer. Another variety of shredded squid contained an excessive level of the preservative benzoic acid, which can cause gastrointestinal problems. They also said the findings had been passed on to the Centre for Food Safety to investigate whether the companies involved in producing the product had broken the law. But a spokeswoman for the centre said the findings did not take into account the fact the regulations were for the fresh product, not the dried squid, and suggested there had been no breach in the law. There seemed to be a discrepancy and it led to lawmaker Fred Li Wah-ming, a member of the Legco food panel, saying the council might have been negligent in its duty to the public. However the Consumer Council's chief executive, Connie Lau Ying-hing, and Centre for Food Safety controller Mak Sin-ping said there was no problem with the findings. 'We were simply saying that there is a law for the level of arsenic found in squid in its material state,' Dr Mak said. 'There are a number of other factors to take into account, such as the fact the product is dried and the quantity a person consumes.' Ms Lau said there had been no breach of trust between the two bodies, which had a long history of working together. She said the council was concerned with health and safety and there were substantial amounts of arsenic found in some of the products. 'The main thing is these things were found in these products,' Ms Lau said. Ms Lau said there was nothing wrong with using World Health Organisation standards for the dried products.