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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dangerous chemicals still found in foodstuffs

Dangerous chemicals still found in foodstuffs

Some Cambodian foodstuffs contained potentially harmful preservatives used to extend the shelf life of the products and ensure profits, an official said yesterday.

Pork Sovannarith, secretary of state for the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, said some food producers continued to use preservatives that could be harmful to

“The ministry, in partnership with inspectors and small and medium enterprises, are training other companies in how to avoid using unsuitable preservatives to attain higher profits. They don’t think about the health of consumers,”
Sovannarith said.

He did not name those companies, but identified ice and noodles as goods in which harmful substances might be found.

“I see ice production enterprises still using urea-based fertilisers to make water freeze faster so they reduce energy consumption and increase profits. Some noodle producers still use borax,” he said.

Borax is usually used in the manufacture of glass and porcelain.

“Our products cannot be exported to other countries until they meet their standards,” said Sovannarith.

Choun Kol, deputy general director of Men Sarun Investment, which produces instant noodles, said quality control was difficult in Cambodia, so producers needed to take matters into their own hands.

“Manufacturers in countries like Vietnam and Thailand who abuse the standards get into trouble when they’re discovered by officials,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at



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