Opening remarks by SFH at press conference on public
consultation on proposed regulation of edible fats and oils and recycling of
"waste cooking oils"
Following are the opening remarks by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr
Ko Wing-man, at a press conference on public consultation on the proposed
regulation of edible fats and oils and recycling of "waste cooking oils"
held today (July 7):
The Food and Health Bureau and the Environment Bureau jointly announced in
September last year that we had reached a consensus and agreed to further
safeguard food safety and Hong Kong's reputation through legislative
amendments and enhanced enforcement. We are now announcing the commencement
of a three-month public consultation.
The consultation comprises two main parts, namely the proposed regulation of
edible fats and oils produced locally, imported into and exported from Hong
Kong, and the proposed regulation of recycling of "waste cooking oils",
which will be explained by (the Acting Secretary for the Environment) Ms
Christine Loh in a moment.
Let me briefly introduce the legislative proposals on the regulation of
edible fats and oils. We propose to make it a statutory requirement that
"waste cooking oils" and "substandard oil" not intended for human
consumption should not be used as ingredients for edible fats and oils
manufactured locally, imported into and exported from Hong Kong. In
addition, we would also propose that edible fats and oils manufactured
locally, imported into and exported from Hong Kong should be accompanied by
an official certificate or a certificate issued by an officially recognised
independent testing institution certifying that the edible fats and oils
fulfil the above-mentioned requirements, i.e. meeting the proposed statutory
standards and being fit for human consumption. Furthermore, for effective
enforcement, we would also put in place a process management system whereby
source and causes of food incidents could be traced.
Nevertheless, in all honesty, even if we were to set up a specific
regulatory framework, there would still be inherent limitations. The
so-called "gutter oil", "tainted oil" and "substandard oil" are all generic
terms without a scientific definition. There is no universal testing
standard to identify such kind of oil in the international community.
Regulatory authorities can only focus on the identification of harmful
substances, and use the testing results as a reference indicator of whether
the oil concerned is fit for human consumption. In short, it is impossible
to determine "substandard oil". Ultimately, it is through close dialogue and
co-operation among the Government, the trade and consumers that we could
ensure food safety. Therefore, we need a properly designed regulatory system
complemented by surveillance, self-discipline, education and publicity.
Let me now invite Ms Loh to introduce the legislative proposals on the
regulation of recycling of "waste cooking oils". Thank you.
Ends/Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Issued at HKT 19:49