Johor calls for probe on ‘pet’ beans


  • Nation
  • Friday, 03 Jan 2003

BY LAM LI

JOHOR BARU: The state government has called for an investigation into possible environmental hazards posed by “Mexican jumping beans” – a new “pet” in the form of seeds containing live larvae which make them move. 

The jumping beans have become the latest “pet craze” here, taking the city by storm. 

State Agriculture Committee chairman Othman Jais said the veterinary department was directed to collect samples of the jumping beans for tests. 

“We have to study the content of the beans and its biological nature to determine if it carries any harm or hazard to the environment. 

“At the same time, we will alert the relevant authorities to check if the products have import permit and have clearance from the quarantine control unit. 

“In the meantime, the product is not banned while we wait for the completion of the investigation report,” he said when contacted yesterday. 

The beans have been banned in Singapore as its Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) feared that it could seriously threaten the environment and cause an imbalance to the ecosystem. 

AVA spokesman Dr Mohd Ismail Mohd Ali had told Channelnewsasia the beans, which originated from Mexico, contained live larva and once the larva finished eating the seeds, it would turn into a moth not found in the region. 

Here, the beans are sold at RM8.90 for each transparent capsule containing three seeds and the beans literally jump when the owner “feeds” them with water once every two to three days. 

The beans are sold openly here in several shopping complexes and news reports on the ban in Singapore had generated more curiosity and interest among shoppers here. 

A sales assistant at a pet shop here said shoppers had been dropping by to check on the jumping beans and some, mostly teenagers, were fascinated with the product and had bought them.  

Earlier report

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