Wed, Sep 05, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER , WITH AGENCIES

■ HEALTH

Sliced fruit not clean

The Consumers' Foundation urged the government yesterday to step up measures to check ready-to-eat, sliced fresh fruit sold at markets after tests showed that 84 percent of the products failed to meet safety standards. Foundation chairman Cheng Jen-hung (程仁宏) said that researchers from the nonprofit group had purchased 25 packs of sliced fruit wrapped either in styrofoam or plastic bags in June. Cheng said the tests showed that none of the products contained artificial sweeteners, bleaching agents, staphylococcus aureus or E. coli. However, 21 of the samples fell short of the Department of Health's hygiene requirements, with an aerobic plate count in excess of 100,000/g.

■ FOOD

Stinky tofu operator fined

Stinky tofu, a delicacy loved by some and detested by others, finally wore out its welcome in a neighborhood. Environmental authorities received the high court's permission on Monday to fine a suburban Taipei restaurant for exceeding the stench limit by three times, a county official said yesterday. After measuring the stench around the Kuang Tou Lao restaurant and receiving 16 complaints since April last year, Taipei County's Environmental Protection Bureau fined the outdoor restaurant NT$100,000 (US$3,000). "The stench level was just too much, and people were unhappy about it," a bureau official said. The owner of Kuang Tou Lao had protested against the fine, calling it too steep for a small business, Huang said. Nevertheless, the owner vowed to reduce the stench.

■ PUBLIC WORKS

Reservoir behind schedule

The Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) urged the Ministry of Economic Affairs on Monday to ensure that the Tsengwen Reservoir's water diversion project be completed by 2013. Tsengwen is the largest reservoir in Chiayi Country, with an effective storage capacity of 596 million cubic meters. However, its limited catchment area, totaling 481km2, is insufficient to provide enough water to fill the reservoir, CEPD officials said. Although the government has earmarked NT$21.29 billion since 2004 for a project to divert water from the Laonung Stream (荖濃溪), some townships have been reluctant to provide the needed land for the project. Council officials called on the ministry to intensify negotiations with decision-makers in the townships to speed up the project.

■ SOCIETY

Charity donor numbers grow

World Vision Taiwan, a Christian relief organization, said yesterday that its number of local sponsors has reached the 100,000 mark, and that these sponsors had helped more than 130,000 underprivileged children at home and in 29 other countries. World Vision Taiwan was established 43 years ago, but it did not begin to raise funds locally until 1985. The organization told 28-year-old Hsieh Chin-mei (謝錦湄) that she was its 100,000th donor. While considering herself lucky to have been singled out for the honor, Hsieh urged others to join the organization's child sponsorship program by skipping one or two meals a month or by reducing their personal spending. Hsieh joined the child sponsorship program after reading the book, There Is No Me Without You. The book describes how Mrs. Haregewoin Teferra, a middle-class Ethiopian widow, turned her home into a refuge for hundreds of orphaned children with AIDS.

■ CRIME

Taiwanese nabbed in scam

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