Beef noodle cook-off returns
The 2007 Taipei International Beef Noodle Festival was launched yesterday and will run through Nov. 4. The festival has made Taipei the world capital of beef noodles, promoted business opportunities and enriched the imagery of Taipei, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said yesterday at the opening ceremony. The festival is once again sponsoring an online vote for the best beef noodle shop in the city, but this year it has also invited competitors from England, the US, South Africa and Russia to join the cookout. Taxi drivers will also be asked to recommend their favorite shops, which may not be well-known by the public.
Canadian firms in link-up
Taiwanese and Canadian biotechnology firms exchanged data on "functional food and nutraceuticals" and looked for potential partners in the rapidly growing sector in a videoconference yesterday. Almost 80 representatives from local firms attended the conference, which was organized by the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei. Seven Canadian firms made presentations in the videoconference to seek local partners. Canada enjoys a leading position in the "functional food and nutraceuticals" industry, which has more than 300 companies and a domestic market of C$6.6 billion (US$6.24 billion) annually, said Hugh Moeser, the trade office's deputy director. With an estimated annual market of NT$25.6 billion and an increasing interest in nutrition, Taiwan has great potential for Canadian companies, Wu Chao-hsiung (吳昭雄), managing director of Sentosa Co, said in a presentation.
DOH monitors Thai coriander
Taipei will request Thai authorities to provide safety certification for its coriander exports to Taiwan after six batches of the imported herb were found to contain traces of a banned pesticide, a Department of Health (DOH) official said yesterday. Bureau of Food Safety Director-General Cheng Huei-wen (鄭慧文) said the 2,408kg of coriander was found to contain 0.37 parts per million of alpha-cypermethrin, a banned pesticide. All six batches were imported after July 1. The DOH has asked the Thai government to improve the situation, Cheng said, adding that from next week, all imported coriander from Thailand will be checked.
KMT calls for flip-flops
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) called on supporters yesterday to wear traditional blue-and-white flip-flops to its rally on Saturday in Taichung City as a symbol of the difficult lives of blue-collar workers. The rally aims to promote the party's proposed referendum to return to the UN and other international organizations and give the working class a voice, commissioner of the KMT's communication and culture committee Yang Tu (楊渡) told a press conference yesterday. "The blue-and-white flip-flops symbolize the spirit of the people's perseverance despite the difficulties in their lives," Yang said. The party hopes to attract 50,000 to 100,000 people at the rally, which will start at 4pm at 823 Park and be followed by a party scheduled to last until 9pm.