Thursday, January 14, 2016

Singapore dismisses Agent Orange myth, assures Vietnam sweet potatoes are safe

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) has just debunked a viral Facebook post claiming that sweet potatoes from Vietnam turned green due to Agent Orange.
"We would like to assure the public that Agent Orange is not known to cause sweet potatoes to turn green," said AVA on its Facebook page. “Greenish color can be due to a natural occurrence, when the water soluble pigments in the cooked sweet potatoes are exposed to air.”
"If the cooked sweet potatoes are handled and stored properly, they should not pose a food safety concern," it added.
The statement was made in response to an earlier Facebook post which said that a Singaporean woman recooked her sweet potatoes, left from the previous day, and found the potatoes turning light green.
She then consulted a “doctor,” who claimed that the potatoes might have been contaminated with Agent Orange, a defoliant chemical used by US troops during the Vietnam War.
AVA also dismissed claims that food from Vietnam was not safe to consume, assuring that imports including sweet potatoes are regularly tested for chemicals and other forms of contamination such as heavy metals, pesticides and drug residue.
“Food products that do not meet our requirements are not permitted for sale in Singapore,” added AVA.

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