Tuesday, October 6, 2009


GEORGE TOWN: Consumers must refrain from eating dried cuttlefish as tests by the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) revealed that it is contaminated with a highly toxic metal known as cadmium.

CAP president S.M. Mohamed Idris said random tests conducted on cuttlefish samples found that the level of cadmium exceeded the safety standard.

“The amount of cadmium detected in the samples tested ranged from 0.33 to 4.33 parts per million (ppm) when the Food Regulations 1985 states that it should not exceed 1.00 ppm.

Poisonous product: Mohamed Idris showing some of the contaminated dried cuttlefish during a press conference in Penang Tuesday. With him is research officer Hatijah Hashim who is holding a poster showing the effects of eating cuttlefish with high cadmium levels.

“This is not the first time high levels of cadmium is detected in dried seafood. In 2004 and 2006, out of nine dried cuttlefish and seafood samples, six were found to contain cadmium above the safety standard.

“Cadmium is used in galvanising and electroplating batteries, the manufacture of alloys, pigments and plastics, and in the stabilisation of phosphate fertilisers.

“It is also a prevalent environmental contaminant due to its release from metal smelters,” he told a press conference at the CAP’s office here yesterday.

Mohamed Idris added that it had been suggested that exposure to cadmium could result in an increased rate of breast and prostate cancers.

“CAP calls upon the Health Ministry to test all types of dried cuttlefish for cadmium content and ensure that those which contravened regulations are not sold.”