Pro-establishment legislator Ann Chiang Lai-wan has urged top officials to eat hairy crabs in a bid to restore public confidence in the seasonal delicacy, after consumers have avoided the crustacean amid reports of contamination with cancer-causing chemicals, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
The Legislative Council’s panel on food safety and environmental hygiene had earlier discussed concerns over the health risks of eating hairy crabs sourced from mainland marine farms.
Chiang said she is also a victim of the food scare as she has not been able to host many hair crab banquets for her friends this year, adding that importers of the delicacy have suffered significant losses because of it.
She urged the likes of Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man and Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene Vivian Lau Lee-kwan to let the public see they are consuming hairy crabs, in the same way that Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun, former health chief and currently director-general of the World Health Organization, told the public relations she ate chicken everyday during the outbreak of avian influenza H5N1 in 1997.
Despite Chiang’s call, the officials did not respond directly and only reiterated that they will coordinate with mainland authorities to look into the causes of the cancer-causing chemicals found in the crabs, adding that they are awaiting test results from the mainland, hk01.com reported.
Lawmaker Wong Ting-kwong, who like Chiang is a member of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said the vast difference in testing standards between Hong Kong and the mainland could potentially hurt relationships between the two sides.
Tam Lai-fan, controller of Centre for Food Safety, said eating hairy crabs is a personal choice as long as the food stuff is proven safe.
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