Walhi Laments Govt's Response to Dioxin-Contaminated Tofu, Eggs



Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) lamented the local government’s response to the recent issue on the contamination of eggs and tofu with dioxins generated from the burning of plastic waste in the tofu factory at Tropodo Village, Krian, Sidoarjo, East Java.

    “We regret the local government's response. Instead of tackling it, they conduct a campaign to appeal to the public to eat tofu and eggs. When such a finding is revealed, they should have carried out similar research to prove it," said the forum’s representative from Central Java Abdul Ghofar at the Walhi Office National Executive, Mampang Prapatan, South Jakarta, Monday, November 25.

    "[The government] should not counter the issue that this finding is aimed at killing the market," Abdul added.

    Previously, researchers alliance comprising International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN), Arnika Association, Ecological Observation and Wetlands Conservation (Ecoton), and Nexus3 Foundation revealed that free-range chicken eggs at Tropodo Village and Bangun Village of East Java were contaminated with 16 toxins, including dioxin.

    The toxic concentration was even at the second-highest in Asia right below the concentration found at Bien Hoa site in Vietnam that was exposed to the US toxic chemical Agent Orange. The chemical exposure is linked to various diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, early menopause, up to immune system changes.

    According to Abdul, this was one of the impacts of plastic waste imports in the country. “This import practice has been going for a long time, and the most finding is in East Java. The waste is used as fuel for its low water content and has been in the form of brickets.”

    Moreover, he went on, Indonesia was still relying on efforts to tackle waste from the downstream. "It [combating waste] should be overcome from upstream, rather than downstream, given the burning of plastic waste contains toxic substances, such as cadmium, mercury, and dioxin," Abdul underlined.