I have been saying that there's a crisis of confidence faced by the Health Ministry.
First of all, did Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai misled the rakyat when he coaxed us to consume foodstuffs that contain melamine as long as it is within the permissible level? What permissible level? Our Health Ministry has not enlighten us what Malaysia's safety level is! Liow Tiong Lai had only mentioned that the European Union countries have it at 30 ppm which is a lie. There isn't such a thing as a safety level of melamine in foodstuffs. It is ZERO!
Now that Taiwan exposed that one of the found products containing Melamine came from Malaysia, it amuses me that our Health Ministry is super efficient in coming out to defend the manufacturer saying that it was a one-off consignment with a Malaysian company and that the ingredients were supplied by the company in Taiwan.
I hate to say it but that's not convincing enough. Food Quality and Safety Department director Noraini Mohd Othman also mentioned that over 200 types of food products worth RM469,158 had been sealed since Sept 23. Please, please, please, I'm pleading with you, let us know the list of the over 200 types of food products. We want product names! We don't want numbers and figures.
Noraini also spilled the beans to confirm suspicions as to how foodstuffs are deemed safe for consumption by declaring that '1008 products have guarantees of safety by the manufacturers'. What? Is it to mean that the department relies on test results supplied by the manufacturers as speculated? It is true! And what guarantee of safety? It is to guarantee that the food products contain melamine but below the 'permisisble' level set by the Health Ministry or it is a guarantee of safety tht the food products do not contain melamine?
Which is which? What is the safety level of melamine permitted by the Health Ministry? Is there really such a thing as a permissible level of melamine in food products? Who exactly is the Health Ministry protecting, businesses or the rakyat?
Crisis of confidence, do any of you remember the mad cow scare a few years ago? What if I were to refresh your memory that an international consumer rights group known as Foodwatch reported that bovine meat and bone meal which could be a source of bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE contamination was exported from Germany to Malaysia?
Consumer Association of Penang is calling on the Health Ministry to check on this report and make public its findings. Till now, no news forthcoming!
And oh, this mad cow disease made its way to Georgetown, Penang. That answers why symptoms of this madness was seen recently to the extent that when a reporter reported this mad cow, she was detained under ISA for her safety!
Update: Bernama reports that 1008 products from 36 companies were found to be free of the substance (melamine), quoting Noraini.
The Star: 1008 products have guarantee safety by the manufacturers
Bernama: 1008 products found to be free of the substance (melamine)
Understand now why I call it a crisis of confidence?