Ban on Korean instant noodles set to be lifted

Posted at 11/12/12 5:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Health is recommending the lifting of a ban on 6 brands of Korean instant noodles made by Nongshim Co. 

The DOH said tests conducted by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on samples of the Korean instant noodles contained low levels of benzopyrene. Benzopyrene has been linked to many cases of lung cancer.

"The test results have been reassuring, as benzopyrenes have been found below the limits of benzopyrenes set for the recall advisory. The results are all less than 5 ppb, far below the regulatory limit of 10 ppb," the DOH said, in a statement. 

The DOH said it will coordinate with the Department of Trade and Industry and Bureau of Customs that the temporary ban on the 6 affected Korean brands be lifted starting today. 

"We also caution our public that when purchasing foreign goods, particularly food products, to look for the regulated English translation of product name, the supplier and expiry dates," the DOH said.

Last November 1, the FDA had ordered the recall of 6 Nongshim instant noodle brands from local shops over benzopyrene. 

The FDA's recall order covered Nongshim's Mild Neoguri, Spicy Neoguri, Neoguri Cup Noodles (large and small), Saewootang Cup Noodles (large) and Seng Seng Udong. 

Earlier, the South Korean embassy said the ban on Nongshim instant noodles has hurt Nongshim Co., as well as the reputation of other South Korean-made noodles.

Nongshim, South Korea's biggest instant noodle maker, has maintained its products are safe for consumers.