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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (August 15, 2001 - The National/PINA Nius Online)---Papua New Guinea's Consumer Affairs Council has begun removing from shops soy and oyster sauces found to contain high levels of potential cancer-causing chemicals.

Council food technologist Goro Arigae said that the contaminated soy and oyster sauce products are mostly imported from China, Taiwan and Thailand.

Mr. Arigae said since the council was alerted to the health risks of these products in June this year, preliminary investigations were carried out which confirmed that some of the products identified were being imported and sold in the country.

It was announced in June that a study undertaken by the United Kingdom's Food Standards Agency disclosed that some of the sauces made by the "acid hydrolysis" method contained chemicals that had the potential to cause cancer.

This potential is linked to the consumption of contaminated soy or oyster sauce on a very regular basis over long periods of time. Occasional consumption is unlikely to cause adverse health effects, the study found.

At least 22 sauces imported from the three countries have been identified as potentially dangerous.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

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