Fri, Jun 13, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

■ ACADEMIA

David Ho voted president

Academia Sinica researcher David Ho (賀端華) has been elected president of the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB), Academia Sinica said yesterday. The leading research institution in Taiwan said in a statement that this was the first time the world’s largest and most prestigious plant biology professional organization had elected an Asian for president. Ho’s three-year term will begin in October. Founded in 1924, the ASPB focuses on encouraging research in plant biology and promoting the development of molecular and cellular biology. The society has more than 5,000 members, 40 percent of whom are non-US citizens. Ho, a distinguished research fellow and the director of Academia Sinica’s Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology, has for years dedicated himself to research on plant biochemistry and molecular biology, Academia Sinica said.

■ HEALTH

Monitoring body created

An association has been created to enhance the quality of service provided by pharmacists in Taiwan and protect the safety of people using prescription drugs, founding members announced yesterday. The Quality Improvement for Pharmaceutical Affairs Association, Taiwan, was set up by pharmaceutical, public health, medicine and law experts to address the problem of a lack of information about the proper usage of drugs, which could put people’s health at risk, the members said. The association, which will focus on educating consumers about drug usage and drug safety, differs from the Union of Pharmacists Association, which is a society composed only of pharmacists to promote the sector’s interests. The association said its new priority would be to lower the number of prescriptions each pharmacist has to fill each day from 300 to 100 and to lobby the government to integrate its suggestions into the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act (藥事法).

■ POLITICS

President heads south

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) will visit acquaintances in southern Taiwan from tomorrow until Monday as part of his effort to reach people at the grassroots level, Presidential Office spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said yesterday. Ma will visit friends he made during his “long stay” campaign in Yunlin and Chiayi counties, as well as attend the graduation ceremony at Tainan University of Technology. He is scheduled to stay overnight at the ROC Military Academy in Kaohsiung County, Wang said. Wang said Ma’s upcoming trip would provide the president with an opportunity to consolidate his friendships and was not aimed at dealing with the aftermath of the flood damage caused by torrential rains earlier this month.

■ AGRICULTURE

Black garlic unveiled

Kinmen County Commissioner Lee Chu-feng (李炷烽) unveiled the island’s latest tourist attraction yesterday — locally developed black garlic. Lee said he hoped the product, made using a special fermenting technique, would join the list of must-see items in Kinmen, which includes its kaoliang liquor and peanut candy. Lee made the remarks during a presentation of the unusual garlic, which was co-developed by the National Kinmen Institute of Technology, the Kinmen County Farmers’ Association, the Kinmen County Agricultural Research Institute and the Kinmen County Animal and Plant Disease Control Center. Lee said that black garlic, which does not smell like ordinary garlic, contains more nutritious elements, which could make it a popular health food.

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