Sat, May 03, 2008 - Page 4 News List

Foundation calls for regulation on eggs sold in markets

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The Consumers’ Foundation yesterday urged the government to place eggs under certain regulations, as a survey showed that more than 70 percent of egg vendors at local markets fail to specify the nutritional information.

The foundation recently conducted a survey on 25 brands of eggs and found that product information was not clearly stated.

“Seventy-one percent of the samples did not identify the nutritional contents, partly because the Food Sanitation and Management Law does not include packaged eggs as packaged food, thus freeing companies from labeling the ingredients,” foundation chairman Chen Jen-hung (程仁宏) said.

“Eggs with a ‘healthy eggs’ label should also be regulated by the Health Food Control Act,” said Chen, citing the importance of transparency on product information.

With the increasing popularity of organic products, many farms claim that their eggs have all kinds of nutritional value, but few provide proof, the survey showed.

Chen said that 13 of the 25 samples were labeled “healthy eggs” and boasted of a wide variety of health claims, such as “full of vitamins,” but failed to inform the consumer of the actual nutritional content.

“The label ‘full of vitamin A,’ for example, should mean it contains more than 180 micrograms of that ingredient in every 100ml of egg, based on the act governing health food,” Chen said.

As for samples claiming to contain antioxidants, Chen said they should be better monitored to see if the claims were true.

Some of the samples do not provide complete and truthful information, Chen said, adding that the “Health Food Control Act bans product information that misleads consumers.”

The foundation also said that there were “no real” organic eggs on the local market.

“Organic food must come from farms that are licensed as organic ones, and at present no chicken farm in Taiwan has obtained such a license,” Chen said.

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