A certification should be developed for vegetarian foods to ensure consumers can trust labeling on packages, a legislator said yesterday at a meeting of the legislature's Sanitation, Environment, Social Welfare and Labor Committee.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Hong-chi (
The government should be more vigilant in ensuring that companies are not mislabeling foods and medicines that contain animal products and vegetables that are not allowed in certain religious diets.
While Department of Health Minister Hou Sheng-mao (侯勝茂) responded positively to Lin's proposal, he said it there would have to be consultations with the Council of Agriculture and the Ministry of Economic Affairs to assess the feasibility of such a certification program before moving head with the idea.
Lin, a vegetarian, told the committee that the rights of the nation's approximately 2 million vegetarians were not adequately protected.
"There are a lot of black-hearted vegetarian foods out there," Lin said. "Not enough attention is paid to the issue, meaning that vegetarians' rights are not being protected."
The Chinese term `black-hearted' refers to products that are subpar but appear acceptable.
As in the West, vegetarians in Taiwan do not all follow the same dietary rules.
There are many kinds of vegetarians, Lin said. Some eat milk and eggs, while others are strict vegans. Many Buddhist vegetarians also do not eat garlic, spring onions or onions.
But many products claim only to be "vegetarian," without clearly indicating which standard they follow or what kind of seasoning and vegetables they contain. This makes it difficult, for example, for vegetarians who do not eat certain vegetables to confirm that a product is safe for them to eat.
"Many medicines and capsules also contain gelatin made from animal sources," Lin said. "Those should also be labeled honestly."
Lin suggested that a certification scheme similar to the system in place for organic foods should be implemented.
‘CORNERED ENEMY’: China’s rise is threatening peace and stability, and the US would aim to restrict it with help from allies in the Asia-Pacific, Soong Hseik-wen said A draft bill on protecting Taiwan from invasion is likely to be passed by the US Congress, but it remains to be seen how US President Joe Biden’s administration would implement the act if it is passed, Taiwanese academics said on Sunday. US Senator Rick Scott and US Representative Guy Reschenthaler on Thursday reintroduced the proposed Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which was shelved in September last year due to the impending US presidential election. Arthur Ding (丁樹範), a professor at National Chengchi University’s College of International Affairs, and Soong Hseik-wen (宋學文), a professor at National Chung Cheng University’s Graduate Institute
OVERHAUL NEEDED: The government should improve its agricultural processing capabilities and expand to new markets to limit its reliance on China, an expert said China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples was “unsurprising,” and Taiwan should have years ago altered its produce export strategies and target customers, experts said. China on Friday abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from Taiwan, saying that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful biological entities” on the fruit. Calling it an “unfriendly” move, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said that 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China since last year have met China’s import standards. Chiao Chun (焦鈞), the author of Fruits and Politics — A Recollection of Cross-strait Agricultural Interaction Over the Past Decade (水果政治學：兩岸農業交流十年回顧與展望), said that China’s announcement is clearly targeting
‘NOT COLD ENOUGH’: Schools are disregarding Premier Su Tseng-chang’s instruction that students may wear out-of-uniform clothing to stay warm, an association said An investigative report revealed that 72.5 percent of the nation’s senior-high schools and 95.6 percent of junior-high schools punish students for wearing unapproved winter clothes in contravention of educational guidelines, lawmakers and student rights advocates said yesterday. Speaking at a news conference at the Legislative Yuan, the Taiwan Youth Association for Democracy said there is an endemic disregard for the Ministry of Education’s regulations and that private schools are more likely to contravene ministry rules. The report is a compilation of 2,856 student reports about dress code reinforcement at 425 high schools and vocational high schools, the association said. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌)
DISSATISFACTION? If the referendums collect more than 700,000 signatures each, they would have gotten the most signatures in the shortest time, the party said The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) two referendum petitions — one on banning the importation of pork with traces of ractopamine and the other on holding referendums on the same day as national elections — had as of Thursday gathered 691,398 and 674,497 signatures respectively, the party said yesterday. If the petitions collect more than 700,000 signatures apiece, they would have garnered the most signatures in the shortest time since the Referendum Act (公民投票法) was amended in 2017, party officials said. The KMT proposed the “anti-ractopamine pork” or “food safety” referendum just days after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement on Aug. 28 last