Dishes containing melamine and bamboo declared as unsafe
Research from the Dutch Food Safety Authorities (NVWA) and the Bureau for Risk Assessment (BuRO) concludes that dishes created with bamboo and melamine pose a health risk. The government announced the import and sale of products containing these ingredients has been forbidden in the Netherlands.
Melamine plastic laced with bamboo is often used, for example, in to-go coffee cups. In a letter to the cabinet, Health Care Minister Tamara van Arksaid that “bamboo is not an authorized additive for plastic.”
The combination of the two substances can cause stomach pain and irritation. According to the NVWA, this is due to high levels of formaldehyde found in the mix of bamboo and melamine.
Even products entirely made from melamine are not intended to be used for children up to three years of age, BuRO said. The chemical is especially dangerous for young children due to their low body weight. Especially when serving hot food or beverages, the NWVA warned not to use melamine products for toddlers.
Experts say long-term negative side-effects are unlikely once the use of melamine products containing bamboo is stopped.
Bamboo products gained popularity due to their image as ecologically sustainable. However, the combination of plastic and melamine is not easily bio-degradable.
Based on the results of the study, the NVWA encourages the EU to tighten the European safety standard for formaldehyde products. Van Ark intends to advocate for this in Brussels.