DOH sets moon cake fines
The Department of Health (DOH) warned yesterday that online moon cake retailers who promote their products by making overstated claims could be fined up to NT$1 million (US$30,000). Hsueh Fu-chin (薛復琴), a section chief at the DOH's Bureau of Food Safety, said the information posted online by retailers is considered advertising, which under the Act Governing Food Sanitation means that if the information is found to be exaggerated or wrong, retailers can face fines between NT$30,000 and NT$150,000. Retailers who claim that their products have curing effects, meanwhile, can be fined between NT$200,0000 and NT$1 million, Hsueh said, adding that consumers should avoid purchasing moon cakes online, as it is impossible to determine whether a product was properly packaged and labeled.
New rule on foreign workers
Local manufacturing companies launching large-scale projects will not be able to seek foreign labor solely on that basis, a Council of Labor Affairs official said on Wednesday, adding that a new law could come into effect before the end of this month. In future, only companies operating in "3K" environments -- a reference to working conditions deemed "dirty, dangerous and generally difficult" or that require around-the-clock, three-shift operations -- will be able to apply for foreign laborers. In addition, local manufacturing companies meeting the "3K" or three-shift requirements will no longer be required to employ a certain number of domestic laborers when applying for foreign laborers, the official said.
MOE helps students grow
The Ministry of Education has launched a program to help increase the average height of elementary students, which has fallen in the past two years. Ministry statistics show that the average height of students between fourth and sixth grades has dropped by about 1cm yearly in the past two years, said Chien Ming-chung (簡明忠), director-general of the ministry's Department of Physical Education. Chien said insufficient exercise and calcium deficiencies were the main reasons for the drop. The one-year program covering physical training and nutrient consumption counseling will target 2,091 students in four elementary schools around the nation, Chien said. The National College of Physical Education and Sports will prepare school lunch menus for students and create sports programs focusing on jumping and stretching movements to train students' muscles and encourage growth.
New depression forming
A new tropical depression has formed to the east of the Philippines barely two days after Typhoon Wipha swept across northern Taiwan, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. Meteorologists said they were monitoring the tropical depression, which was moving northwest at 10kph, to determine whether it would develop into a tropical storm or a typhoon. If the intensity of the tropical depression is upgraded to that of a tropical storm or typhoon, it will be named "Francisco" and become the 13th storm in the Western Pacific this year. An air mass of low pressure east of the Philippines was also moving slowly in a northwesterly direction, while another low pressure system remained stationary between the Paracel Islands and the Macclesfield Bank in the South China Sea, the bureau said.