The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government is only concerned about “pork-barrel” spending under the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program, while the discovery of eggs tainted with the insecticide fipronil shows that it has neglected its pledge to improve food safety, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus said yesterday.
The case of the tainted eggs came to light on Tuesday when the Council of Agriculture (COA) disclosed that eggs from three farms in Changhua County were found to contain excessive levels of the insecticide.
KMT caucus vice secretary-general Lee Yen-hsiu (李彥秀) yesterday told a news conference at the legislature that since news about the tainted eggs broke on Tuesday, traces of fipronil had been detected at more poultry farms, while the council had not been able to track down the source of the contamination.
Referring to projects under the infrastructure program, she said the key to upholding food safety is not building laboratories or purchasing monitoring vehicles, but rather addressing issues at the agencies.
The council had demonstrated poor efficiency in its ongoing probe into the contamination, merely taking a “Band-Aid” approach, KMT caucus vice secretary-general Wang Hui-mei (王惠美) said.
“What people care about is whether similar incidents will occur again,” she said, calling on the DPP administration to step up its monitoring efforts by mapping out poultry farms and factories in their vicinity, which are potential sources of contamination, thereby identifying farms susceptible to contamination.
As of yesterday morning, fipronil-tainted eggs had been found in Changhua and Nantou counties, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, KMT caucus vice secretary-general Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) said.
The government has not finished screening eggs at poultry farms, meaning people are still being kept in the dark as to how many tainted eggs they have consumed, he said.
He called on the council to implement a measure adopted by the EU whereby all eggs are assigned matrices indicating their origins, so that incidents of food contamination could be swiftly contained.
“How can a government say that it prioritizes food safety when it cannot even handle eggs?” KMT Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏) said.
“The ‘five rings of food safety’ policy [introduced by the DPP government] has been completely defeated,” she said.
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