Wed, Jan 11, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Beijing takes Taiwan off watch list after food scare

By Jason Tan  /  Staff Reporter

The Bureau of Foreign Trade yesterday said China had taken Taiwan off of its food-and-beverage import watch list, which contained more than 800 Taiwanese products because of the di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, or DEHP, scare last year.

However, Singapore and Malaysia still need Taiwanese exporters to show product safety certifications, it added.

In the middle of last year, Taiwanese manufacturers were engulfed in a national food crisis after some of their products were tested positive for DEHP.

Yu Shen Chemical Co (昱伸香料) and Pin Han Perfumery Co (賓漢香料) were found responsible for using DEHP, and diisononyl phthalate, or DINP, respectively, as clouding agents they sold to food processors.

As a result, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea put five categories of food and drinks imported from Taiwan under their watch lists.

Local importers of products in these categories — namely sports drinks, juices, tea drinks, fruit jams or syrups, and tablets or powders — either had to produce “safe for consumption” certificates, or their products would be banned or frequently inspected by customs in these markets.

According to bureau Director-General Bill Cho (卓士昭), China is the latest market to take Taiwan off its watch list.

After Hong Kong and South Korea eliminated Taiwan from the list late last year, China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine followed suit on Monday, he said.

The bureau said the Malaysian authorities would consider taking Taiwan off the watch list by Feb. 4 if customs checks find that imports from Taiwan do not contain excessive levels of DEHP.

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