DEHP – plasticizer added to food to cut costs

Food producers in Taiwan have been adding DEHP, a plasticizer, to food as a replacement for palm oil.

EDIT: I’ve been editing this original posting over the last day or so, adding products and companies to the lists below as I read about them in the media. But at this point it appears that essentially all large and medium sized food manufacturers in Taiwan have, knowingly or not, been adding this shit, DEHP, to their food. So, I’ll stop editing the lists. Essentially, ALL the food on the shelves is suspect, perhaps with the exception of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Look at the list below of manufacturers involved, and do some of your own research. This shit is everywhere. It’s a toxic filler that’s been used by multiple multinational food companies for, apparently, years. Not only does it provide no nutrition, it poisons you.

As food and the processing of food for marketing consumption become more expensive mainly due to the increased price in oil, companies will only increase the practice of adding cheap, toxic elements to food in order to save money.

Things to avoid:

  • sports drinks
  • fruit juices
  • yogurt drinks
  • jellies
  • bubble tea

Labels to avoid:

  • Taiwan Sugar Corporation
  • Taiyen Co. Inc.
  • Uni-President
  • Weichuan
  • Brand’sSunkist
  • Dahu Strawberry Farm
  • Taiwan Yes
  • Young Energy Source Co.
  • Taiwan Bifido Foods Inc.
  • S.S.J.
  • Chang Gung Biotechnology Corporation Ltd.
  • Presotea
  • King Car Group
  • Nature House
  • And everybody else!

The list of tainted products is growing daily. The only safe thing to do is quit buying all that crap.

DOH tracing path of harmful food additive – The China Post

DOH tracing path of harmful food additive

The Department of Health (DOH) is trying to track down a poisonous food additive sold by a chemical company to unwitting makers of beverages and foodstuffs after ordering the removal of contaminated products from store shelves.

According to a local news source, this is the world’s first case of foods and beverages being laced with the plasticizer Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, commonly abbreviated as DEHP. DEHP is a carcinogen and can also disrupt the endocrine system and change hormone levels.

Total consumption of DEHP by public and private organizations came to more than 200 metric tons last year, according to DOH, which is trying to find out how much found its way to the food industry. On May 19, Changhua County seized 127 barrels (25 kg each) of emulsifiers laced with plasticizers and about 10,000 kg of food product mixes from four food processing companies in Changhua County, Taichung City and New Taipei City.

Carcinogen’s Harmful Effects

According to media reports, the said additive, which contains the cancer-causing plasticizer DEHP, has been used as a substitute for palm oil, a legal ingredient but five-times more expensive, in the manufacture of an emulsifier. DEHP, an organic compound, is described as a cost effective general-purpose plasticizer which is used mainly for making plastic and PVC soft and pliable. While emulsifiers are a legitimate ingredient of food additives, plasticizers are not. Emulsifiers are added to sports drinks and fruit juices to give them a “clouded”and “rich” look.

Affected beverages and foodstuffs include fruit juices, jellies, yogurt drinks and yogurt tablets sold under such popular brands as Dahu Strawberry Farm, Sunkist, Taiwan Yes and others. The highest concentration found in these beverages and foodstuffs is 30 parts per million (ppm). An intake of 500 cc of such drinks could leave in the body enough of the agent to exceed the permissible amount in a 60-kg adult.


  1. Channing Bartlett says:

    Hello. Just tuned in to this site to read about plasticizers in food. I assume that poor Taiwan has had bad pollution of various kinds for decades, and this is another one for the list. It’s no wonder to me to hear that cancer rates, etc., are booming. I consider unrefined, whole foods to be the basis of a healthful diet. The foods on the list here are pretty far from that, and people need to “stop buying that crap” whether or not they have plasticizers in them. (“Palm oil,” mentioned as the predecessor of plasticizers, is bad to begin with, unless it is unrefined palm oil – a rare commodity). There is so much in Taiwan that is good; but for a health food enthusiast from the West, it’s as though the clock has been turned way back to when health foods were hard to come by. One good thing is that there are vegetarian and Buddhist food networks. (By the way, flax seed is available here, though the product from China may be polluted. I’ve been chewing the seed as a source for flax seed oil.) And by the way, there is a lot of good information on cancer in books by Dr. John Lee – “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About…” His book on menopause has an excellent chapter on the effects plastics and other pollutants have on our bodies. Thank you – C.B., 2011.5.27

  2. Dan says:

    Good points Channing. I should have accentuated more in my original posting that there are indeed good alternatives here. Taiwan is a land of surprising contrasts. On the one hand, we have these outrageous and intentional poisonings of food going on. On the other, if one cares to look a bit, one can find very healthy food.

    I’m not 100% trusting of sources though. People may be very well intentioned but still be selling food that has been poisoned. A recent government survey, for example, found that a high percentage of ‘vegetarian’ products contained animal. Here in Pingtung, we have a couple of really nice veggie stores, but how sure can they be of the quality of food they buy?

    The only sure way, really, is to either grow your own food or personally know who is growing the food you buy. I know that sounds crazy, but why should it sound crazy? Why have we become so disconnected from our food that we don’t even know where it comes from?

  3. pierre says:

    Thank you for this text – very helpful for understanding what is happening.
    We had a lot of issues about DEHP (phatalate) last year in Europe.
    it is now a forbidden component in PET!

  4. macia hartman says:

    I knew it! Somebody says its good for you and everybody belives. 🙁 wake up people. I work in a grocery store. Its a very slow way to cut down to human herd.

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