While urging consumers to buy dried day lilies with a safety label, which guarantees the product to be sulfur dioxide-free, the Hualien County Government called on the central government to revise the safety limit for sulfur dioxide residue in day lilies.
Hualien County Commissioner Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁) said Hualien accounts for about 78 percent of the day lilies harvested in Taiwan.
However, most of them are artificially preserved, he said.
Because excessive amounts of sulfur dioxide added to dried day lilies have damaged the sales of day lilies grown in Hualien, the Hualien County Government is promoting a safety label to help consumers distinguish day lily products that are either organic or sulfur dioxide-free.
The county government’s Bureau of Agriculture said that adding sulfur dioxide to the day lilies makes them easier to preserve and enhances their color, but the substance may harm the human body. Because of this, it has decided to initiate a safety label that reads: Taiwan Day Lilies (台灣金針).
The bureau said that the limit on residues should be reduced from 4,000 parts per million (ppm) to 500ppm.