The Industrial Development Bureau has unveiled a plan to revamp the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification system by the end of this month, a move aimed at recapturing consumer confidence in government certifications. The reformed system would center on four main points: certificate issuing only for companies that meet guidelines, improving management of places of origin, strengthening product traceability systems and meeting international standards.
Manufacturers who already have GMP certification are to be given a one-year grace period to improve their production process to meet the new standards, the bureau’s Deputy Director Lien Ching-chang (連錦漳) said.
After the one year deadline, they will have to conform to strict controls, as the new system comes into place, he said.
The head of the Food GMP Development Association of Taiwan will be advised by academics and experts, Lien added, expressing hope that the reforms will rebuild confidence after GMP-labeled products became the center of food safety scandals. Bonnie Sun (孫寶年), a professor at National Taiwan Ocean University’s Department of Food Science, has been recommended to take organization’s top post.
Sun said the association will not be responsible for GMP certification, but for promoting the GMP program.
Thursday’s announcement is the result of the work of a special task force set up last year following the various food scandals, including a major scandal involving adulterated cooking oil that was GMP label certified.