Public warned vs 'cancer-causing' Korean instant noodles

Posted at 10/29/2012 11:45 AM | Updated as of 10/29/2012 5:54 PM
A photo showing the Korean instant noodles recalled by the Korea Food and Drug Administration for containing a cancer-causing substance called benzopyrene. / Courtesy of EcoWaste Coalition

MANILA, Philippines - The EcoWaste Coalition is warning the public against buying certain Korean instant noodles, which have been recalled by the Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) for containing a cancer-causing substance called benzopyrene.

The EcoWaste Coalition said it was still able to buy the recalled Korean instant noodles in several Korean specialty stores in Metro Manila.

"Meron po tayong siyam na nirecall ng Korean FDA na mga instant noodles at nakita po namin nung huling testing namin nung Saturday [na] meron pong anim na recalled ng Korean FDA na nandito pa nabibili sa tindahan natin," Aileen Lucero of Ecowaste Coalition's Project Protect told dzMM.

The KFDA issued the recall order on 9 types of instant noodles last October 25, after discovering benzopyrene in the powdered seasonings.

Among the instant noodles found with benzopyrene are Nongshim's Mild Neoguri, Spicy Neoguri, Neoguri Cup Noodles (large and small), Saewootang Cup Noodles (large) and Seng Seng Udong, which are being sold in the Philippines.

"Gumawa na po sila ng sarili nilang recall dahil nakapag-testing sila na ito pa lang mga produkto nila ay merong sangkap na benzopyrene, ito'y cancer-causing substance kaya't nirecall na po nila sa kanilng bansa. Ang problema, nandito sa atin, hindi pa po dito napu-pull-out," Lucero said.

The EcoWaste Coalition expressed hope that Korean shops will voluntarily remove these instant noodles, but some shops continue to have them on their shelves.

"Bago lang po siyang recall, within the week. Kaso nung Satuday, meron pa rin siya dito. Ang ine-expect sana namin after the recall ng Korea, yung mga Korean na seller natin dito, dahil siyempre sila rin yung may direktang access sa Korean FDA nila, magvoluntary pull-out na ng kanilang tinda kasi ni-recall na naman ng kanilang Korean FDA," Lucero said.

The EcoWaste Coalition also urged other supermarket chains to make sure these instant noodle brands are removed from their shelves.

Health authorities in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan have already ordered the removal of the Korean instant noodles from stores.

South Korean news agency Yonhap has reported Nongshim, South Korea's largest instant noodle maker, as saying its instant noodle products are safe for consumers and it had already destroyed all the raw materials in question.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), benzopyrene is a probable human carcinogen based on studies in several adult animal species demonstrating that the substance can increase the incidence of tumors. - With report from Nikki Delos Santos, dzmm.com.ph