This report released by the Ministry of Health states their persistent monitoring and testing of food products to ensure health safety and promote the well-being of citizens. It further explains that on lab examinations, 43 brands of tea (pickled) on the Myanmar market contained significant traces of Auramine O. Auramine O is a diarylmethane dye used in fabric coloring processes and despite lacking any immediate affect on consumer health, is hazardous and harmful to the kidneys and liver, therefore unsuitable for consumption.
This scandal of artificially dyed pickled tea leave products occurred during military government rule. Immediately after announcing the use of yellow Auramine O dye in the above listed products, the military government shut down production and confiscated all remaining products on the market. Tea traders, tea business owners and tea growers suffered hundreds of thousands of losses in kyats. Further, this scandal caused tea production and sales to plummet, which in affect damaged many livelihoods in the country. To this day, no efforts by authorities have been made to alleviate the ripples of losses and problems caused by the intervention of the military government.
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The Mirror Daily, 2009, March 12