Fri, Oct 03, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Councilors urge stricter scrutiny

By Mo Yan-Chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) councilors yesterday urged the Taipei City Government to ignore the central government’s “flip-flop” policies and set higher standards for melamine detection.

The councilors demanded the city government follow a nine-step system to detect products contaminated with melamine.

“Taipei City Government should not dance to the central government’s flip-flop tune regarding the poison milk issue. Taipei residents’ health should be the priority, and we demand the city government not tolerate any melamine in food products,” DPP Taipei City Councilor Chou Wei-you (周威佑) said yesterday at the Taipei City Council.

Seven city and county governments governed by the DPP — Tainan City, Tainan County, Kaohsiung City, Kaohsiung County, Pingtung County, Yunlin County and Chiayi County — along with two pan-blue local governments, Taichung County and Taichung City, have decided not to adopt the Department of Health’s standard of a maximum of 2.55 parts per million (ppm) for melamine in food products.

The local governments said they would not accept products that contain any amount of melamine.

DPP Taipei City Councilor Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青) said the city’s Health Department should expand the scope of sample examinations.

“Our standards should be higher than those of the DOH,” she said.

Chiang Yu-mei (姜郁美), director of the department’s Food and Drug Division, said the city government was already using the liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method for random product tests. The method is capable of detecting melamine at levels as low as 0.001ppm.

The Department of Health on Tuesday announced that it would use LC-MS/MS method to look for traces of melamine in all imported creamers, milk powder and baby formula. It did not say whether other products would be tested with the LC-MS/MS technique as well.

Chiang yesterday said the department would continue random testing of products, and would put greater pressure on manufacturers to identify the place of origin of the raw materials they use in their products.

“Do not eat, drink, buy or sell food that was made in China,” DPP caucus whip William Lai (賴清德) told a press conference.

The DPP caucus urged the public to buy products, especially foodstuffs containing milk products, that are made in Taiwan.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JIMMY CHUANG

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