The Cancer-causing Arsenic Detected in Taipei’s McDonald’s, and Carcinogen in KFC

| July 20th, 2009

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[QQ] Taipei County announced the second wave of oil-fried fast food inspection reports yesterday. 7 branches of 4 kinds of business have been selected for inspection. It included the well-known fast food brand McDonald’s and pizza chain Yogh Zhongzheng Shop, the heavy metal "Arsenic" has been detected in all of their food which exceeds 9 – 11 times over the standard amount. It showed that their oil is really harmful to health. These stores were ordered to improve. In addition they will also be transferred to the health authorities and be fined up to 300,000. Why the high amount of cancer-causing substance "Arsenic", even the toxicology experts feel puzzled. However, it is sure that besides for the heavy metal, another carcinogen "Acrylamide" (it confirmed as a carcinogen through animal experiments) has been detected in the oil of 7 stores (including KFC). The consumer protection official informed that as the acrylamide is harmful to human’s health, and they will work with relevant units to study whether the standard rules shall be carried out.

The Amendment Law of the Forbidden Use of Magnesium Trisilicate

"All the oil samples contain acrylamide, although Taiwan has not set the content standards, but it may cause cancer. The use of Magnesium Trisilicate can only make the product appear to be clean, while cannot prevent of the deterioration of oil and causing of carcinogens. We will request the government to amend the law of setting the content standards of Acrylamide and to forbid the use of Magnesium Trisilicate." —- The director of Legal Bureau of Taipei County, Kunrong CHEN(陈坤荣)

The Heavy Metals have Been Detected With Exceeding 9 Times of standard amount in Taiwan McDonald’s

Yesterday, the legal bureau of the Taipei county government invited the fast-food industry people, and announced the oil and bread contained preservatives. Results of the continuous selective inspection of fast food industry made on the both 21st and 27th last month, the oil of McDonald’s, Domino has detected of heavy metals "Arsenic", and the county government does not rule out the possibility of punishment. In addition, the Tucheng Jincheng Store, the Center Store and Yogh Zhongzheng Store of McDonald’s, and Domino Yogh Zhongzheng Store, Napoli Tucheng central store, Tucheng Jincheng Store and Yogh Zhongzheng Store of KFC have been examined and found acrylamide in their food. But the operators showed other test results prove the food is clean, and requested for the re-testing.

Among them, the highest index of oil with acid has been detected at McDonald’s Tucheng Center Store, reached at 23.88mgKOH/g; Tucheng Jincheng Store and the Center Store of McDonald’s has been detected for containing propionic acid (preservative), as well as the arsenic content of 0.923PPM , 1.038PPM; the pizza chain Domino’s Yogh Zhongzheng Store has been also detected for containing arsenic content of 1.105PPM, which exceeds more than 9 times over Taiwan standard value of being below 0.1ppm.

Facing with the shocking test results from county government, McDonald’s presented their own test report to show they are innocent, the PR associate of McDonald’s – Mr. Changjie CAO (曹昌杰) said that all the results had been published with the indicator paper of oil selective examinations everyday. They sent also the samples to SGS (Taiwan testing technology company) for detection by themselves, but the heavy metal arsenic have not been detected.

However Changjie CAO (曹昌杰) said that the self-test did not find arsenic, but detected the copper. It might be related to the environment of oil storage, which does not affect the food safety. McDonald’s not only requested the county government to re-test, but also decided to not add hamburger bread preservatives any more. The will maximum storage time will be reduced from six days to three days.

The Heavy Metals "Arsenic" Has the Risk of Causing Skin Cancer

The General-Secretary of the Consumer’s Foundation, Jiacheng WU (吴家诚) expressed that the arsenic could not appear in any oil and food. Because it may lead to blackfoot disease, persecution of peripheral nerve, and also has the potential risk of causing skin cancer.

The director of Legal Bureau of Taipei County, Kunrong CHEN(陈坤荣)expressed that all the oil samples contained acrylamide, although Taiwan has not set the content standards, but it may cause cancer also. The use of Magnesium Trisilicate can only make the products appear to be clean, while cannot prevent of the deterioration of oil and causing of carcinogens. We will request "The Party Center" to amend the law of setting the content standards of Acrylamide and the forbid the use of Magnesium Trisilicate."

He said, if McDonald’s questioned testing results, they could apply for the re-test within 15 days. McDonald’s, Domino and other industry representatives have confirmed with requesting the re-test on the spot.

Professor Jiacheng WU (吴家诚) of Chemistry Department of Taiwan National Normal University, "I would like to know the origin of this oil, and for what has been deep-fried, of course, arsenic (the heavy metal) cannot be appeared in of our oil."
Originally, it has been guessed for fried fish food, which contains the organic arsenic with less toxic. But surprisingly, the carcinogenic inorganic arsenic has been detected, even the toxicology experts were shocked to see such high volume. When two branches of the fast-food leader found out, they presented the self-testing repots immediately and hope to reduce the damage.

The Selected 7 Stores Detected Acrylamide

In addition, the selected 7 stores of 4 kinds of business were detected of containing acrylamide, ranging from 12.4 to 22.4ppb, although the data is relatively low, it also confirmed as the carcinogen in animal experiments, when the starch is through deep-fried process at high temperatures , it is easy to produce. Although Taiwan does not have a strict requirement on acrylamide, the consumer protection officials think that the acrylamide is harmful to the body, they will advise the relevant units, in order to examine whether a standard should be carried out.

The report shows that the oil used in fast food industry has produced the harmful substances to health, the maximum penalties can be up to 300,000. In order to stop the current unhealthy deep fried food, the consumer protection official requested oil testing 2 times per day with indicator paper. Each pot can be only used to make one kind of food. Stop using Magnesium Trisilicate. The fast-food industry can only be cooperative to prevent the serious damages to their businesses.

"Inspectors" interviews "Health Director"

The Fast-food restaurants break the rules of using oil, the "Inspection Institute" thinks that the competent authority of health and safety neglects their duty, they have not checked for the consumers’ diet recently. The Health Director, Jinchuan Ye (叶金川) and the "Minister of Economic Affairs," Qimin Yin (尹启铭) have been interviewed, Jinchuan Ye admitted that it was difficult for the local government to implement some standards. Qimin Yin (尹启铭) said no words, but it seemed that both of them felt a bit aggrieved.

The Health Director, Jinchuan Ye said "anyway, we did everything we could"
The "Inspectors" showed the extra documents and took the year of 2007 as an example, there are more than 100,000 food and beverage stores in Taiwan, and only 1386 stores have been inspected, of which 165 failed, but in the end only one was punished. Jinchuan Ye admitted that their standards were not perfect, and we had not identified problems earlier. Just right after Jinchuan Ye left, the "Minister of Economic Affairs" Qimin Yin appeared at the "Inspection Institute". The "Inspectors" made a big action to have the interview with the competent authority of health and safety and requested to hold businesses responsible.

7 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. sern says:

    Taiwanese pizza, corn and peas. Yuck!

  2. sern says:

    I use to live near McDonald’s in Tucheng (no, not in the prison) . Glad I never ate at it

  3. Death Metal says:

    Visit http://www.moshbook.com – a social network just for headbangers. It resembles Facebook but better!

  4. Sunblocks can also reduce the incidence of skin cancer by preventing UV to harm your skin.;;.

  5. Zak Fisher says:

    skin cancer is rarer than colon cancer but just as deadly;,:

  6. hicalcium says:

    Hey, The nice article sites just found your site on with yahoo helped me a lot! I really like the info, thank you.

  7. skin cancer is usually caused by UV exposure, therefore, it really makes sense to always use those UV block creams when going o’~~

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