Free liver screening
The Liver Disease Prevention and Treatment Research Foundation will offer free hepatitis screening tests at the Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital on Saturday. Hsu Chin-chuan (�?t), chief executive officer of the foundation, invited residents in the south yesterday to head to the hospital to get tested. Hsu said that liver disease is one of the main causes of death in Taiwan. He said that a higher ratio of people in remote areas suffer from liver cancer than in urban areas and that the survival rate among liver cancer patients in southern Taiwan was lower than in the north. One of the main reasons for this is “a lack of accurate knowledge concerning liver protection” in these areas, Hsu said, adding that many people suffering from liver problems in these areas often buy liver tonics and medicines advertised on unlicensed radio stations. Between 10,000 and 12,000 people die of liver cancer in Taiwan each year, with about 70 percent of the cases caused by hepatitis B and about 20 percent by hepatitis C, he said.
Cycling cup also about food
The 2008 Giant Cup Cycling Competition, scheduled to start on May 31, is not only an annual event for cycling lovers, but also for those who love local delicacies in Taichung County, Taichung County Government executive officer Su Guo-jyh said yesterday. The activity, now in its 14th year, will combine competition, food and scenery to attract cycling enthusiasts and food lovers. People can sign up for the 160km “Tachia-Kukuan Self-challenge Cycling Team” for a two-day, one-night event, he said. Participants will have a chance to taste famous local delicacies, such as butter cake and taro ice cream along the way, as well as experiencing an ecologically and environmentally friendly trip, he said. “For just NT$2,500, you can enjoy scenic views, hot springs and gourmet food along the way,” Su said.
Taiwan photo relay posted
Photos of Taiwan taken by 190 photographers nationwide in a round-the-clock photo relay on April 26 have been posted on a blog, organizers said yesterday. The “24 hours in Taiwan” photographic activity gathered a number of pictures taken from all walks of life during one day, including some that show the production of tofu; vendors serving delicacies at night markets in the early hours; and a postman delivering mail early in the morning. Yang Chin-huango (楊錦煌), who initiated the activity, said a similar activity was held on Aug. 19, 1992, bringing together 192 photographers who recorded the lives of Taiwanese in the economic, political and social spheres. The photos can be viewed at www.wretch.cc/blog/yangphoto.
Price of salt unchanged
Despite suffering from rising raw commodity prices and production costs, Taiyen (臺鹽), the only salt maker in the country, said yesterday it would not raise the price of salt. “Because of higher production costs, the company recorded a meager NT$47 million [US$1.54 million] in net profit last year, compared with NT$342 million in 2006,” Taiyen chairman Wu Chi-chang (吳啟章) said at a Legislative Yuan hearing. The company, which was privatized in 2003 as part of the nation’s commitments to the WTO, has faced serious competition from foreign imports of salt since 2004. Wu said the company’s low-price strategy, used to win back customers from its competitors, also led to shrinking revenues.