Mon, Jun 20, 2011 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

Beat the food scare together

I am a university student who is greatly concerned about the food scare that Yang Yung-nane (楊永年) discussed in a recent commentary (“Act together to end food scare,” June 12, page 8) because I live in a dormitory and must eat out every day.

According to Yang’s piece and recent news reports, beverages are not the only products found to have been contaminated with industrial chemicals that could be toxic to humans; foods like jam and bread, and medicines have also been discovered to be contaminated.

Since this food scare and its resulting panic are spreading like wildfire, I agree with Yang’s view that the public should not be preoccupied with blaming people and spreading fear.

Whenever I buy potentially contaminated products, people warn against doing so and do their best to scare me into not consuming them.

However, it seems that these worries are often unnecessary.

There are four groups — the public, the government, the media and manufacturers — that should work together on this crisis, while the public should be critical of information and warnings they give and receive.

What the public should do is stay calm and follow the government’s instructions about what to pay attention to before deciding to buy a product, such as the components and ingredients that went into making it.

As for the government, instead of first seeking to blame someone for the tainted products, it should determine which products are contaminated, clearly report this information to the public and help withdraw the products from the market as soon as possible.

As for the media, instead of scaremongering by -bombarding the public with -exaggerated reports, it should work with the government and help deliver information to the public, such as which products have been contaminated and how to distinguish true certification from fake certification.

Last, those manufacturers whose products have been shown to be contaminated should recall their products as soon as possible and inform the public through mass media channels.

By working together on this crisis, society will quickly get over this food scare and get back to normal.

Ken Lin

Taipei

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