Industry insiders have warned consumers to be careful when using drinking straws, as 90 percent in the Shanghai market did not meet quality standards

Probes show dangerous straws on sale

2013-07-16 02:52:40 GMT2013-07-16 10:52:40(Beijing Time)  China Daily

Industry insiders have warned consumers to be careful when using drinking straws, as 90 percent in the Shanghai market did not meet quality standards, according to investigators.

The national standard on drinking straws requires a quality safety logo granted by the food quality and safety administration on package labels.However, packing labels for straws produced by unlicensed workshops typically do not provide information of the materials used, or the manufacturer.

According to food experts, some straws could contain hazardous materials that can dissolve into drinks. Long-term use can cause harm to the digestive system, premature sexual development, infertility or even cancer.

An investigation team led by Lou Zhongping, who helped draft the standards on drinking straws, began inspections of wholesale stores in Shanghai’s Yu Garden in early July and concluded only 10 percent of straws were qualified. Inspections also revealed forged quality safety logos.

“In wholesale stores, we found the logo was hard to read and could be erased easily,” said Lou, who is also president of the largest manufacturer of drinking straws worldwide, Soton Daily Necessities.

Despite a request on July 3 by the market watchdog requiring that stores remove the straws from their shelves, a vendor said that the straws are still being sold.

Most of the quality safety logos are counterfeit, he added, showing a bag full of colorful drinking straws.

“Many beverage and milk tea stores as well as schools buy straws regularly, and we sell hundreds of packs every month,” said the vendor, who only wanted to be identified as Chen.

In a beverage shop named Guoxiang in the Jing’an district, a manager surnamed Yang said he purchases straws from markets in Yu Garden, and has never been aware of the safety concerns

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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