Mon, Feb 27, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Excessive additives making health products unhealthy
過多添加物 健康食品不健康

(Left to right) Hsu Hui-yu, director of the John Tung Foundation’s nutrition division, Lin Wei, a professor in Chinese Culture University’s Department of Food, Health, and Nutrition Science, and Chin Hui-min, director of Taiwan Dietitian Association, hold a press conference on last Monday discussing whether health products are actually healthy.

Photo: Lu Chun-wei, Liberty Times

Are government-certified health products trustworthy? During a press conference last Monday, the John Tung Foundation and the Taiwan Dietitian Association said there were numerous loopholes in the Department of Health’s (DOH) health food control policies. They alleged that the standards for issuing certifications are too vague and liberal, and that this is causing consumers to ingest bellyfuls of artificial additives, while businesses obtain certification as a means to engage in unfair competition. Experts are stridently calling on the government to undertake a comprehensive investigation of the legislation, allowing the huge misnomer that has been confusing people so much — health product — to quickly become a term of the past.

Early this year, the John Tung Foundation tested 74 health products and discovered that 17 of them had suspicious ingredients and nutritional values. Most of them were found to have excessive amounts of artificial flavoring, coloring, spices, and other similar additives. The director of the foundation’s nutrition division, Hsu Hui-yu, says that the Health Food Control Act only considers the safety and health functions of a single or a few ingredients, neglecting overall nutritional value. This has allowed products the government labels as health products to actually have less nutritional value and more artificial additives than ordinary food products. If eaten in large quantities, these products can be pernicious to a person’s health.

Feng Jun-lan, deputy section chief at the DOH’s Food and Drug Administration, said the Health Food Control Act has been in effect for over a decade, and that only slightly more than 200 products have received certification, which is a relatively small number. Two years ago the DOH added regulations concerning the amount of sugar that can be added to health products to the conditions for certification, and has already undertaken measures regarding calorie intake. In facing the public’s demand to abolish certification, she expressed concern that it would not be a good thing if manufacturers could sell their products without having to run tests and pass examinations.



1. trustworthy adj.

可信的 (ke3 xin4 de5)

例: Is this a trustworthy source?


2. comprehensive adj.

通盤的 (tong1 pan2 de5)

例: Experts conducted a comprehensive study of the ecosystem before publishing their findings.


3. consider v.

考量 (kao3 liang2)

例: Adam doesn’t usually consider the outcome of his actions, so he’s always getting into trouble.






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