Wed, Oct 30, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Laplanche urges food regulation

HELPING HAND:The EU representative said Taiwan can benefit from exchanges on food safety with the bloc and look to EU regulations for the sector to improve its own

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan should put more effort into monitoring food products sold domestically to ease the public’s safety concerns, EU Representative to Taiwan Frederic Laplanche said.

Laplanche said that European companies are fined heavily if they are found to have violated the EU’s food safety regulations and the same approach could be adopted to prevent such violations in Taiwan.

“The government should work on comprehensively investigating the[se] cases and taking more actions to monitor the market and make sure those dishonest companies pay for their behavior,” Laplanche said when asked about the nation’s recent food safety scandals during an interview with the Central News Agency.

The EU envoy said he believes that Taiwanese authorities “have sufficient abilities to resolve this kind of problem,” adding that the EU could share its experiences in food safety by conducting exchanges with Taiwan.

For example, Taiwan has been invited to join the EU’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed system, which serves as a platform for the bloc and its trading partners to exchange information about measures taken in response to serious risks detected in food or animal feed sectors, Laplanche said.

In addition, representatives from the EU and the Food and Drug Administration have held annual meetings to address food safety issues, such as inspection mechanisms and market surveillance, he said.

“It’s a highly sensitive issue for global consumers, so we have to figure out how to improve the conditions,” Laplanche said.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare on Monday said that it will soon inspect all tea leaves, fruit juices and milk sold domestically to see if any products in those categories are being mislabeled or their ingredients misrepresented.

The move follows a string of food safety scandals that have rocked the food sector this year.

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