Fish paste and duck blood pudding that contain the banned chemical formalin have been found in Mon State’s Mawlamyine and Bilin townships, according to the State Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Samples from around the state are now being examined.
Inspectors testing staple foods in markets found contaminated blood pudding at Zeitgyi, the main market in Mawlamyine, as well as the city’s only supermarket, Ocean Super Center. The contaminated fish paste was found at a market in northern Mon State’s Bilin Township.Dr. Phyu Phyu Khin, the assistant director of the Mon State FDA, said that inspectors are continuing to collect samples and are already testing an additional 70 foods from around the state.
“We detected formalin in fish paste at Bilin markets and duck’s blood at the Mawlamyine market and Ocean Super Centre. We are still testing other foods,” she said.
“Consuming these chemicals can cause vomiting, gastroenteritis, and liver and kidney cancer. The chemical, which is used as a preservative, can also cause soreness of the eyes, excessive tearing and intestinal cancer,” she added.
Dr. Soe Naing, the director of the Mon State FDA, said that if a company is found to be using prohibited chemicals, their stock of that item is confiscated and the company owners are made to sign an agreement saying that they will not use the chemical again. If a company is caught a second time they are shut down.
The chemical formalin contains formaldehyde, a chemical most commonly known for its role in the embalming process. The FDA began testing samples on June 27, using a mobile laboratory van. So far they have collected over 70 samples including food and cosmetics from around Mon State.