Fri, Oct 17, 2008 - Page 4 News List

DOH to create agency modeled on FDA

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Cabinet yesterday said it would create an agency modeled on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to strengthen inspection mechanisms and improve food and drug safety in the country, Minister of Department of Health Yeh Ching-chuan (葉金川) said.

At a press conference, Yeh relayed Premier Liu Chao-shiuan’s (劉兆玄) instructions made during the Cabinet meeting, where Yeh gave a second briefing on his department’s handling of the issue of melamine-tainted food products imported from China.

Yeh confirmed that three officials from China’s Zhongshi Duqing Biotech Co were in the country to confirm the claim by King Car Food Industrial Co that its products were contaminated because of imported materials from the Chinese company.

“King Car had sent two packs of the materials it bought from China back to Duqing for examination, but Duqing wanted to make sure that the melamine was not added into its products during their transportation from China to Taiwan,” Yeh said.

Asked if the government would help King Car Co seek compensation from Duqing while its officials are in Taiwan, Yeh said that compensation is “a business matter between King Car and Duqing.”

But he said that if King Car Co needs help from the government, the Straits Exchange Foundation would talk to its Chinese counterpart, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait.

Yeh said that Liu also instructed his ministry to work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Mainland Affairs Council in preparation for the country’s bid for WHO membership next year.

The WHO’s recent sharing of melamine-related information with its members based on the International Health Regulations again proved that Taiwan’s participation in the organization is a necessity, Yeh said.

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