A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker said yesterday a new government food safety certification regime should be created to replace the two principal systems that failed to prevent the widespread use of potentially harmful chemicals in food products.
Amid a tainted food scandal that continues to dominate headlines, DPP Legislator Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) said many customers had lost confidence in the state’s ability to eliminate the use of banned chemicals in everyday products, foods and beverages, undermining the image of Taiwanese goods at home and abroad.
A new government certification, created especially to address such “loopholes” in the inspection process and add to the existing checks from the Certified Agricultural Standards (CAS) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) labels, would aim to allay such public concerns, Hsu said.
“Standing on the side of user-friendliness, the new certification would make the government hold responsibility for consumer safety. Not only would it aim to manage the source of the products, it would also monitor the entire [manufacturing] process,” he said.
The current certification regimes — the CAS and GMP labels — were created by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Council of Agriculture and are administered by industry groups.
Hsu said that direct public accountability, with government officials placed directly in charge of the new certification, was needed.
“If officials aren’t made responsible, then it means there is effectively no control,” Hsu said.
As it stands, when manufacturers don’t abide by health and safety practices, “they receive a fine, but there’s no real fear,” he said.
The proposed certification, which Hsu said he planned to introduce in the legislature, would serve as a form of safety guarantee, he said.
DPP lawmakers have already suggested they would back the proposal.
A statement given by the party yesterday said it would ask the government to consolidate the various food safety labels into a uniform platform “to better ensure public safety.”
A recent poll suggested almost seven in 10 members of the public said that they have lost confidence in the GMP label, citing the failure to discover the use of the chemical DEHP in clouding agents in sports drinks, juices, tea drinks, fruit syrup and tablets and powders.
DEHP, a category four substance, was also used to make flavorings and food coloring agents. Prolonged exposure has been linked to the stunted development of sex organs in males, hormone disruption and fertility problems.
The survey by the DPP showed that 67.9 percent of the public believed they or their families have at some point ingested goods containing the chemical.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is seeking to join an Indo-Pacific economic framework being planned by the US, a senior official said. The government is paying close attention to the regional economic pact being touted by US President Joe Biden, although too few details have emerged from Washington for Taipei to make specific plans, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The US is expected to launch the Indo-Pacific economic framework next month after negotiations with Australia, India and Japan, the official said. The economic initiative is to tackle trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply-chain resiliency and
PIVOTAL ROLE: Taiwan’s importance in the global chip supply chain can be bolstered by domestic equipment manufacturing, President Tsai Ing-wen said Efforts must be made to better secure Taiwan’s place in the global supply chain by localizing production of equipment and facilities used by the semiconductor industry, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. Tsai discussed the issue during a meeting with representatives from the Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association at the Presidential Office in Taipei. Product shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly of automotive chips — highlighted the pivotal role of Taiwan in the global supply chain, she said. Tsai thanked the association for cooperating with the government on the shared goal of localizing production of important semiconductor industry equipment.
SEPARATE CASE? A woman tested positive when she went with her daughter to be tested, because her daughter had taken the same bus to school as a steakhouse worker The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 10 local COVID-19 cases, six of whom had visited a steakhouse in Taoyuan where an infection cluster has been reported. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that of the 10 local infections, one case — No. 17,928 — is a Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport disease prevention staffer who works in the area where inbound travelers collect their saliva for a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and sometimes at the fever screening station. The staffer had tested negative in a PCR test on Jan. 9 and
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is to use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in a bid to revitalize the party’s archives, KMT officials said yesterday at a news conference in Taipei that showcased a ceremonial sword belonging to Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), the first piece of the collection to be utilized in the project. NFTs are a blockchain technology used for digital files that provide proof of ownership or a certificate of authenticity. KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Lin Chia-hsing (林家興), who is also the curator of the archives, said that digitizing the collection is part of the party’s efforts to revamp its