Food safety institute NVWA has put an immediate ban on the sale of melamine and bamboo fibre crockery because it contains too much formaldehyde.
The combination of bamboo and melamine, a synthetic resin, produces formaldehyde which can cause ulcers or other types of stomach complaints, the NVWA said.
The NVWA said in a statement that bamboo and melamine crockery and cutlery should not be used for hot food and drinks for children up to the age of four because heat is particularly conducive to the release of the harmful substance. It has not issued a similar warning for adults.
Bamboo, with added melamine, was considered to be a sustainable alternative for plastic, the NVWA said, but German research in 2019 found that some plates and bowls contained too much formaldehyde.
The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg have now called for a ban on the use of bamboo fibres (and other natural constituents) in combination with polymers, such a melamine, for products used for food and drink.
The NVWA said there are no lasting effects on health once the use of the products is stopped.