A follow-up report is featured in a later post. Click here to read.
My childhood revolved around the 80s, so it’s natural that the sweets that figured greatly in my memories are either locally produced, or imported from China. During those days, chocolates and candies from the US were exorbitantly priced, probably due to import tariffs so the only times we’d have them was when relatives from the States sent us care packages. For ordinary everydays, what we’d have were cheap candies from the corner sari-sari store.
One of these candies was White Rabbit. A chewy, milky, nougat-like candy, it was tasted sweet and creamy while offering a resilient yet smooth texture that was fun to chew. Still, it was just candy. What made White Rabbit extra special was the edible wrapper. Under the printed plastic wrapper, the actual candy was wrapped with a thin, translucent wafer. This was such a big deal, as kids we would differentiate the prized White Rabbit from the locally made brown colored White Rabbitâ€”why it wasn’t called Brown Rabbit, I’ve no ideaâ€”with the unedible wrapper. White White Rabbits were special, precious, and definitely prized.
So you can imagine last night’s shock when White Rabbit was revealed to be one of the Chinese products that were found tainted with Formaldehyde. Yes, Formalin.
The famous White Rabbit creamy candy â€” which was once given as a gift to former US President Richard Nixon â€” and three other food products from China were found to contain the poisonous chemical substance formaldehyde, commercially known as formalin or formol.
The Bureau of Food and Drug (BFAD) came out with the findings, after inspecting for more than two weeks over 600 food products that the Philippines imported from China.
BFAD Deputy Director Joshua Ramos told GMA Newsâ€™ 24 Oras on Monday that the agencyâ€™s report on the findings, signed by Director Barbara Gutierrez and submitted to Health Secretary Francisco Duque, will be used as basis to ban these products made in China.
â€œWe will be issuing a public health advisory, advising consumers to refrain from buying such goods until (these) are proven safe,” said Ramos.
A friend of mine argues that we’ve been eating these things since we were kids and nothing bad ever happened to us. A part of me agrees with his line of reasoning. It does make sense. But still, another part of me is adamant and would rather not risk it. And even if I were still willing to eat it, it’s likely that it will now be banned.
So, that’s another part of my childhood down the drain. What’s next? Haw Flakes? Chocolate Mallows? Yakult? Sadness. Total sadness.
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White Rabbit image modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:White_rabbit.jpg. Used under a GNU Free Documentation License.