[ LETTER ] - Taipei Times
Wed, Oct 04, 2017 - Page 8 News List


No end to food scares

Health authorities have found traces of the banned carcinogen Sudan IV in egg yolks used in mooncakes sold by an online retailer.

The source of the tainted eggs was a farm in Yunlin County’s Yuanchang Township (元長). Duck eggs and duck fat from two poultry farms in the area were found to have traces of the lipid dye, and initial findings suggests the farmer added it to the animal feed.

Following cross-departmental discussions in the Council of Agriculture, it was decided that the ducks should be culled and the eggs destroyed, and that the case should be prosecuted under the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法).

When I read this news, I was absolutely incensed. Hot on the heels of the fipronil-tainted egg scandal we now have eggs tainted with Sudan IV.

What is to be done about food safety in this nation?

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) minister said that all major nations in the world have expert oversight mechanisms focused on toxic chemical substances to address the issue of food safety, and yet here they are, popping up in Taiwan.

There were 11 separate departments supervising the situation, but following a succession of food scares over the past few years — including the plasticizer and toxic starch scandals that not only jeopardized people’s health, but also harmed Taiwan’s food industry — the EPA established the Toxic and Chemical Substances Bureau to improve the control of these substances.

What has the bureau to show for itself in terms of improving the food safety situation? Whenever you pick up the paper you read about tainted eggs. It really is quite scary.

Tsai Mei-chu

New Taipei City

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