Lucky Me! issues statement on ethylene oxide, health warnings from European countries

MANILA, Philippines – Popular noodle brand Lucky Me! issued a statement on Thursday, July 7, to deny ethylene oxide content in their products, following the health warnings from European countries.

Lucky Me! issues statement on ethylene oxide

Lucky Me!, whose parent company is the Philippine-based Monde Nissin, claimed that their popular pancit canton brand complied with local food safety standards. This came after food regulators in Ireland, Malta, and France issued health warnings saying the noodles contain ethylene oxide, a chemical linked to pesticides, and can cause health problems like cancer.

“This pesticide is not authorized for use in foods sold in the EU. Although the consumption of the contaminated product does not pose an acute risk to health, there may be health issues if there is continued consumption of ethylene oxide over a long period of time,” the Food Safety Authority of Ireland said.

Monde Nissin clarified that they do not add ethylene oxide to Lucky Me! Instant noodles. They stated that traces of the chemical may show because it’s often used in seasonings.

“We would like to clarify that ethylene oxide is not added in Lucky Me! Products. It is a commonly used treatment in spices and seeds to control microbial growth typical in agricultural products. These materials, when processed into seasoning and sauces, may still show traces of ethylene oxide,” the company stated.

They confirmed that there are issues of food recalls on their instant noodles in Taiwan and in some European countries. However, the company explained that the recall order also affects other noodle brands and products, including ice cream, sesame seed, spices, and calcium carbonate supplements.

Monde Nissin assured Filipinos that their Lucky Me! products have passed the standards of the local food regulatory board, the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“Rest assured that all Lucky Me! products are Philippine FDA (Food and Drug Administration) registered and comply with local food safety standards and even the US FDA standards for ethylene oxide,” the statement clarified.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health said that they’re already looking into the matter. DOH spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said actions will be made once the investigation is done.

“Kung anuman po ang matagpuan ng ating Food and Drug Administration na talagang with the presence of this specific component or chemical, ‘yun lang po ang tatanggalin sa merkado. Pero katulad ng sabi ko nga kanina, aantayin po natin ‘yung resulta ng imbestigasyon na isinasagawa ng FDA,” she said.

The DOH official also explained some of the symptoms of high levels of ethylene oxide in the body. Among those symptoms are headache, nausea, vomiting, difficulty in breathing, loose bowel movement and exhaustion or fatigue.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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