A spokesperson for the Malaysian health ministry told FoodNavigator-Asia that the as of March 12, imports of glow-in-the dark lollipops would be held at all ports of entry and samples will be tested before being released on the market.
According to the spokesperson, the authorities have imposed a Food Safety Information System of Malaysia Level 5 alert on these products at all ports of entry in the country till the ministry’s investigations are over.
The issue erupted last week when local media reported claims by the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) that fluorescent lollipops being sold in Penang contained highly toxic chemicals that could lead to cancer.
The spokesperson said that the ministry had initiated the alert after a check at the product’s distributor revealed that the address was false and no such distributor existed in the area.
“That is we find it prudent to keep an alert out for these lollipop products. As far as we know, they are not made locally. The country of origin is unknown. We are also recalling these products from any retailers who might be stocking them,” he said.
It is likely however that the distributor has managed to cover his tracks before the check was made, according to the spokesperson. “We have made checks at many local retailers but have not found samples of these fluorescent lollipops.”
The spokesperson pointed out that Malaysia currently does not require a safety certificate for the import of these products. “But we are thinking of a blanket scheme where all food products would require a health certificate before entry.”