SRI AMAN: A manufacturer and supplier of canned cockles in soy sauce has been fined RM10,000 or two months’ jail in default by the Sessions Court here after the product was found to be contaminated with cadmium.
Judge Shahrizat Ismail sentenced Selangor-based Ma Bo Food Industries Sdn Bhd after taking into consideration public interest, the seriousness of the offence and the health effects of cadmium on those who consumed the product.
Assistant environmental health officers Bong Ting Ting and Garry Banna Masing from the divisional health office here had carried out food sampling at Lian Yi Marketing Sdn Bhd on March 14 this year, including a sample of cockles in soy sauce.
An analysis by the Chemistry Department in Kuching showed that the product was contaminated with cadmium in a greater proportion than permitted under the Food Regulations and the Food Act.
The manufacturer was found to be responsible for the offence according to Sections 28 and 24 (3) of the Food Act.
The offence was committed under Section 13 (B) (1) of the Act and carries a fine not exceeding RM20,000, imprisonment of up to five years or both.
Prosecuting officer Edwin Rommel Anthony Dass told the court that cadmium was normally found in batteries, paint and phosphate fertilisers and primarily used as an anti-corrosive.
It also served as an electrode component in alkaline batteries and was used in alloys, silver solders and welding, he added.
He stressed that excessive levels of cadmium rendered food unwholesome, causing severe health effects on those who ate such contaminated food.
Such an act was therefore fraudulent and aimed at reaping profits at the expense of consumers and the public in general, he said.
Edwin applied for a sentence that would serve as a deterrent to food traders.
A Ma Bo Food Industries director paid the fine.