TYR The Young Reporter Magazine

Two out of 40 prepackaged juices found to contain mycotoxin

  Consumer Council said two of prepackaged juices samples were tested positive for patulin, a mycotoxin a UN committee on Food Additives say could suppress immunoreactions, damage nerves and affect the development of infants. Although patulin is commonly present in decaying fruits, especially apples, “the risk is higher in juices because mould cannot be seen”, said council spokesman Michael Hui King-man. The distributors have instantly removed the two cold pressed apple and blended apple juices, in which the amount of patulin have exceeded the Centre for Food Safety's action level. The council also found that the dietary fibre content of all 40 samples, including those with fruit pulps claims, was lower than the detection limit of less than 1.1g/100ml of fruit juice. Vitamin C content in apple juices was also found generally lower than 2mg/100ml, whilst that in orange juices, on the whole, was higher, ranging from 11 to 52mg/100ml. High sugar content in all samples also entailed that they are “not deemed as a low-sugar food” under Hong Kong’s current nutrition labelling standards. For the sample with the most sugar, drinking 1 bottle of 360ml of juice would amount to 46g of sugar intake. In other words, it is equivalent to 92% of an adult average daily intake of 50g free sugars limit. The council urged consumers not to substitute fruit juice for fruit because juices contain less vitamin C and fibre but are more expensive. Reported by Holly Chik Edited by Daisy Lee

Parents and students criticised Carrie Lam's neglect of student suicides

The Hong Kong Chief Executive paid little attention to current youth problems in her maiden 195-page policy address released in the Legislative Council this morning. Various stakeholders, including parent and student representatives and social workers, expressed their disappointment with the report, accusing the leader of neglecting the lives of Hong Kong students. Covering youth policies in just five pages, she put the spotlight on their participation in politics: creating opportunities for young people to join the Central Policy Unit to be re-organised soon and different commissions under the 13 policy bureaux. Lam also focused on the provision of internship and exchange opportunities outside the city. “We will strive to do our best in youth development work by addressing their concerns about education, career pursuit and home ownership,” she said during the Legco meeting, “and encouraging their participation in politics as well as public policy discussion and debate.” Yet, the city's leader has failed to mention a single word about the severity of the student suicide epidemic which has claimed 432 lives since 2013. The Committee on Prevention of Student Suicides was formed March last year to tackle this issue. But no further action was done after its final report was published, according to Althea Suen Hiu-nam, the former president of the Hong Kong University Students’ Union and a member of this government-appointed student suicide prevention committee. She expressed her dismay on Lam's failure to include the issue in her first policy address. "It's absurd to ignore the issue," Suen said, "a disrespect to the lives of the youth.” Annie Cheung Yim-sheun, spokesperson of the Hong Kong Parents United, felt Lam had neglected a major issue given the increasing number of student suicides in Hong Kong. Cheung attributed Lam's avoidance to the sensitiveness of the sudden death of Peter Poon Hong-yang, …

The Online Hotbed for Illegal Drugs

Blue pills - the story ends, you wake up in your bed, believing whatever you want to believe. Red pills - you stay in Wonderland, knowing how deep the rabbit hole goes. Sixteen-year-old Amy chose a set of pills from Yanhee Hospital which promised “a safe and effective hallucination”. Convinced by the photos and videos posted by an online shop on Instagram, she paid $300 to buy this medication. “On the first day, I felt dizzy after taking the medicine. My heart was pounding very fast and I was always thirsty. I couldn’t fall asleep no matter how sleepy I was. The next day, I felt so weak as if I was floating. Eventually, I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt like dying,” Amy said. “I asked the shop owner why I was suffering through WhatsApp. The medicine had no disclaimer on its possible effects. The owner said everyone might react differently, and that I should quit if I was sick,” she added. Social media has become a hotbed for illegal drug trade. By law, substances used for medical purposes must  be registered with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Hong Kong before sale. But this is often not the case for medicine sold online. Between 2014 and 2016, there were  23 convictions linked to illegal drug sales on social media, according to the Drug Office. Common drugs offered on social media include those that promise to improve one’s appearance, such as breast enhancement or make you grow taller. They come under names such as Cosmoslim, Slim Perfect Legs and Yanhee. Input the keywords on Instagram and you get hundreds of posts of pills. Online drug sellers often claim there is no medication in their products and that they are approved by the foreign agencies. For example, an online post …

Hong Kong bike-sharing initiatives's secretive rise

The Lands Department confiscated around 30 bikes in Tin Shui Wai and Yuen Long, most of which are from GoBee, the first bike-sharing service in Hong Kong. Unlike existing bike-rentals, bike-sharing services allows users to rent green bikes by scanning QR codes with their mobile phones, posing no restrictions on where to pick-up or drop off the bicycles. Sha Tin District Councillor Sunny Chiu Chu-bong finds the bike-sharing service is a good concept and can be very convenient, though problems have arisen since before its implementation. However Chiu said there are no regulations towards these services, but taxpayers are paying for these bikes. “They are using government land to make profit, without approval from the public.” The district councillors were not informed of the bike-sharing service until they started receiving complaints; Some complained of alarms going off and are unable to be turn them off; Bikes were inappropriately parked, blocking the road. These are only some of the common problems found since the launch of the service. “Hong Kong is not ready for bike-sharing services,” he added. “ The city lacks government regulation and infrastructure. More similar companies are going to surface and that will worsen illegal parking.” Sha Tin resident Chan said this service is quite convenient, but it’s not very well-known and the payment method is quite complicated. Though she is concerned of the parking problem, she would choose to pick up these green bikes for a free 30-minute session. Another resident Michelle Cheung feels uneasy about the registration and payment method of the services. She fears about privacy problems which could hinder with the usage of the service. “The government should make them register and plan out the areas for them to park the bikes.” She answered when asked about possible government action, regarding the disruption caused …

Cultural tours fail to pull mainland tourists during Golden Week

  Not a lot of mainland tourists come to Hong Kong for cultural exploration or eco-tours, spokesperson of Mainland Travellers Centre of China Travel Service said. The company offers different one-day tours including popular tourists spots such as Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland, but they also offer cultural and eco-tours. For example, China Travel Service provide cultural tours to Kowloon Walled City Park and visits to Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark. Both types of packages targeted at mainland travellers but cultural and eco-tours are usually less popular amongst customers regardless in peak seasons or in regular days. Over these few days of the National Day Golden Week, over 150 individuals from the mainland came to Hong Kong daily for one-day tours of traditionally popular tourist attractions. Yet, only less than 60 joined either cultural or eco-tours every day. China Travel Service spokesperson said the company did not marketise any of their tours as flagships and customers could make their own choice. “Usually they are here (in Hong Kong) for shopping and popular tourists spots,” spokesperson said. Ho Ho Go Experience is a tour agency which covers tradition and off-the-beaten-path attractions. The founder, Ling Ho, also said no mainland tourist has joined their cultural tours after they were launched in 2015. • 20 Most Popular Countries as Mainlanders' Tourist Destinations (Data from China Tourism Academy) Former Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying aimed to diversify the visitor source market and develop cultural and creative tourism, as he announced in the 2016 Policy Address. The government defined “creative tourism” as tourism and minglement of experimental activities with local characteristics, citing South Korea, Brazil and New Zealand as examples. Brazil offers tourists samba dance learning experiences instead of just watching a dancing show, whereas New Zealand organises indigenous related hands-on workshops operated by local …

Hong Kong tops the Japanese Pearl Export Market

By: Tracy Zhang, Jade Li, Dorothy Ma Edited by: Winnie Ngai and Emily Xu   Hong Kong has become a most sought-after and promising Japanese jewellery market as the city’s growing appetite for pearl. The 35th Hong Kong Jewellery Fair opened on September 13th at AsiaWorld Expo. Organized by UBM Asia, the seven-day fair has attracted over 3,690 exhibitors from 56 countries and regions. As the largest Asian jewellery fair, it is expected to draw more than 56,000 visitors. Hong Kong has been the top market for Japanese pearl, accounting for 80 per cent of the country’s pearl exports last year, according to the annual report of Japan's agriculture, forestry and fisheries exports. In 2016, the amount of exported Japanese pearl to the city was valued at 24,222 million yen (about HK$ 1,719 million)– about eight times of the value exported to the US, which ranks second. According to Hong Kong Merchandise Trade Statistics Import from January to July 2017, Japan takes the lead in the quantity and value of pearl trade in Hong Kong. Project Manager of Japanese Pearl trading company Hinata Trading Corporation Limited, Alexander Muller said this was his sixth time attending the fair. "Hong Kong is the centre of the Japanese pearl trade," he said, "Japanese pearl market is the most booming trading market in Hong Kong so I hope [this good situation] would keep on going.” Muller believes that the high credibility of pearl quality and the reputable tradition of Japanese pearl make the business successful in Hong Kong. His company is expert in refining irregular shapes of pearl to meet the demand of its key customers from Europe and America. “People from mainland China and Hong Kong only account for a small part of our business sales since they are more interested in the perfectly round pearls,” …

Master of Knives

A full steel armour stands in the show window of Chan Wah Kee, a cutlery shop on Temple Street in Mong Kok.Chan Dong-wah, 85, is one of the few remaining knife sharpeners inHong Kong. He has been whetting blades for more than 70 years.Chan first learnt the art of knife sharpening in Guangzhou when he was 11 years old. Four years later, he came to Hong Kong and set up his stall on Temple Street, sharpening tailor’s scissors. After 20 years of hard work, he finally owned his cutlery store.“The key

  • 2017-04-22

“The Egg Tart: Evolution of a Classic Hairstyle

TYR’s Kenji Chan walks us around a historical barber shop and a celebrity-serving modern salon which offers the same time-honoured hairstyle “Eat Tart”, which crazed the city in the 1950s.“The pompadour haircut has al-ways been a classical and good men ’s haircut,” said Adam Chan Moon-tong, a young yet experienced hairstylist.Style such as comparing the look with vintage stone washed jeans and Wonton noodles, Chan said thatHong Kong people had forgotten the grooming culture Shanghai barbers brou

  • 2017-03-20

Weighing ambitions with a steelyard

A skill that bonded father and daughter over decades by Connie Fong People in Hong Kong may come across traditional Chinese steelyards, a type of balance, in wet markets and Chinese medicine pharmacies. Yet only a few of them know the proper way to use one, though it was the optimal tool for measuring weight in the olden days. Lee Wo Steelyard, the last store selling handmade steelyards has nestled in Yau Ma Tei for over eighty-five years although digital balances had replaced steelyards and diminished its crafting industry. “My goal is to preserve my dad’s spirit and let more people understand about the beauty of steelyard”, said Mrs Ho, the owner of Lee Wo Steelyard. She has been determined to keep her father’s dream alive by operating his store up till this day despite having few successors in steelyard crafting. It is hard for beginners to learn the skills in the steelyard industry because the masters and seniors treat their apprentices harshly, Ho said. Her dad had gone through a tough time when he first stepped into the scene, as the requirements for making a steelyard of good quality was fairly high in the golden days. “I hate to say this but this is really a pity for me to witness this unique craft vanishing in the society”, said Ho. The steelyard shop owner is unable to make any new steelyards at 76 years of age and the stock in her shop are all that she has left. There are only three to four steelyard masters left in Hong Kong and they would soon be retired as all of them are in senility, Ho said. “I wouldn’t retire until the day I die because the shop is my dad’s ambition in his life and I will do everything to …

  • 2016-12-11