Taiwan Food Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Development Association officials yesterday apologized to the public on behalf of a number of GMP-certified companies that have been implicated in the edible lard oil scandal, pledging to tighten up the certification system’s regulations on ingredients at the source.
“The main cause of the substandard lard oil scare is inadequate management of the sources of food ingredients, which is why the association has decided to include a set of regulations governing raw materials into the GMP system as part of our effort to revamp the program,” director-general Bonnie Sun (孫寶年) told a news conference in Taipei yesterday afternoon.
Another major change to be introduced on Jan. 1 next year is that all a manufacturer’s products that are classified into one category will have to be certified as a whole, rather than individually, or selectively as allowed at present, Sun said.
“For example, if a company wants to have just one of its oil products certified, it will not be able to do so under the new certification process because all its oil items will have to be certified as meeting GMP standards,” Sun said.
Public confidence in the GMP system has plummeted because 12 products manufactured by Greater Kaohsiung-based edible oil manufacturer Chang Guann Co (強冠企業), which is at the center of the current food scandal, had obtained GMP certification.
Chang Guann’s 12 GMP certifications were revoked by the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Industrial Development Bureau on Friday, one day after the company was found to have used recycled waste oil collected from restaurant fryers in the production of its “fragrant lard oil” (全統香豬油), a non-GMP-certified product.
The bureau is the regulatory overseer of the GMP program.
Five food companies were subsequently found to have manufactured 14 of their GMP-certified products with Chang Guann’s substandard lard oil.
Sun said the public’s strong confidence in laboratory tests and the GMP certification system were the main reasons many food manufacturers had bought Chang Guann’s fragrant lard oil without checking the status of the firms that supplied its raw materials.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to