The Cambodian Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture called on Cambodian consumers to form a consumer union to demand better safety and quality assurance measures for food products on Tuesday during an event held for Global Consumer Day.
“Consumers must join together to create an association to put pressure on producers and business people to take responsibility for the health of society,” said Yang Saing Koma, director of CEDAC.
Chek Sotha, a specialist in chemistry and food from the Royal Academy of Cambodia, presented the findings of her research that found between 41 and 80 percent of food products in Cambodia contained dangerous substances. Borax and formalin, a substance made of formaldehyde and water, were found in a range of products including sausage, dry fish, seafood, noodles and meat balls produced from beef and pork.
Some vegetables contained traces of two insecticides highly toxic to humans: methyl parathion and monocrotophos.
“These substances can cause kidney and intestinal diseases, liver cancer, stomach cancer, and some people may immediately die from poisoning,” she said.
Research was conducted last year by collecting food samples from local markets and supermarkets in twelve provinces, including local and imported products.