Fri, Jan 23, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Organic food to require certification by council

MAKING IT OFFICIAL Concerning imported organic agricultural and processed agricultural products, the COA said it recognizes the regulations of 16 countries

STAFF REPORTER WITH CNA

Starting a week from tomorrow, all local and imported organic agricultural products must be certified before they can be sold on the market, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said.

Tsai Ching-chiang (蔡精強), deputy director general of the COA’s Agriculture and Food Agency, said on Wednesday that the sale of organic products is regulated under an agricultural production and certification act promulgated in January 2007.

The act allowed a grace period of two years, which will end on Jan. 31, he said.

Tsai said that although there are many shops that claim their products are organic, only four organizations are certified to sell organic agriculture produce — MOA International, Tsuhsin Organic Agriculture Association, Chinese Organic Agricertification Association, and Taiwan Organic Production Association.

EXCLUSIVE

The National Animal Industry Foundation is the only organization certified to sell organic animal products, he added.

Several organizations are now applying to the COA for product certification, Tsai said.

As for imported organic agriculture produce and processed agriculture products, the COA said it recognizes the regulations of 16 countries — the UK, France, Austria, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, Luxembourg, Greece, Spain, Ireland and Belgium.

PERMISSION

However, Taiwanese companies are still required to apply to the COA for permission to sell certified organic products from those countries, he said.

Organic agricultural products, grown with minimal use or without the use of chemicals and pesticides, have gained popularity among the health-conscious in Taiwan in recent years despite their higher-than-average prices.

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