No flour brands exceed limits for benzoyl peroxide, says Health Ministry

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry is constantly monitoring the numerous flour brands in the country to ensure they comply with Malaysian food safety regulations.

"So far, none of the flour brands in the market contain benzoyl peroxide exceeding the level allowed under the law.

"We (the ministry) are aware of the issue circulating on social media regarding the use of benzoyl peroxide in wheat flour, which is claimed to affect one's health.

"We have clarified this in two previous statements issued in 2012 and 2017 to avoid public confusion.

"The Food Regulations 1985 under the Food Act 1983 allows the use of benzoyl peroxide as a food conditioner, capped at 50mg per kg," the ministry said in a statement on Saturday (April 27).

The ministry said Codex Alimentarius Commission, which is the body established under the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) for food standards, has allowed the use of benzoyl peroxide in wheat flour at a rate not exceeding 60mg per kg.

"The use of benzoyl peroxide has been evaluated and confirmed to be safe for use in food in certain amounts in Malaysia and other countries by an international assessment body (FAO and WHO) under its 'Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives'.

"We are always prepared and will take appropriate action if there is latest scientific evidence from international bodies such as Codex and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, if any food ingredient is considered dangerous to health.

"We are always aware and mindful of things that can endanger the life of consumers," it said, adding that it already addressed this issue that resurfaced recently, after issuing related statements to explain the matter in 2012 and 2017.

MOH added that explanations on food safety issue can be obtained from any District Health Office, the nearest state Health Department, or from or

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