MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday declared that suspected chemical contamination of a famous brand of instant noodles reported abroad was not present in the local supply.
The DOH spokesman and Health Undersecretary, Maria Rosario Vergeire, explained that this was because the noodles sold in local markets are also made locally.
These findings are the result of an FDA investigation into Lucky Me! instant noodles, which has received warnings from various countries due to the presence of ethylene oxide in foreign samples, this chemical linked to pesticides can cause health problems like cancer.
“Gusto po nating klaruhin na itong nangyari ay sa European countries, mayroon po tayong local manufacturer nitong food product na ito, kung saan ang ating mga ginagamit na mga sangkap nito at ang pagsasagawa ay dito po sa atin sa Pilipinas.”Maria Rosario Vergeire, DOH spokesman and Health Undersecretary
“We are assuring everybody that the FDA has already verified na itong pong product na noodles na ito, meron po tayong local manufacturer. We are not currently affected by this incident of contamination, which happened in the European countries,” she added.
The DOH official also stated that the FDA will keep looking into whether any imported noodles have entered the country.
The FDA launched its investigation after learning that the governments of Ireland, France, and Malta had issued safety warnings against Lucky Me due to “high levels of ethylene oxide.”
The FDA said ethylene oxide is a processing aid used to disinfect herbs and spices, but its use in food sterilization is not permitted in the European Union.
Vergeire also warned that consuming ethylene oxide might result in headaches, vomiting, loose bowel movements, and, in severe cases, respiratory difficulties and exhaustion.
Monde Nissin, which is based in the Philippines and owns Lucky Me!, has previously affirmed to Filipinos that their popular pancit canton brand met local food safety standards of the Philippine Food and Drug Administration, which is in charge of food safety in the country (FDA).