Thu, Oct 17, 2019 - Page 2 News List

COA cracking down on mislabeled food imports

PRODUCE PRICES:Eleven items would be added to a list that requires imports to have a certificate of origin, to prevent their sale from affecting the local market

Staff writer, with CNA

The Council of Agriculture (COA) on Tuesday said that it would clamp down on mislabeled agricultural products following complaints from farmers and importers that cabbages from China have been imported into Taiwan labeled as Vietnamese.

From Jan. 1 to Tuesday, a total of 56,077 tonnes of foreign cabbage entered Taiwan, compared with last year’s 31,770 tonnes and 2017’s 39,283 tonnes, according to COA data, which show Indonesia, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan and the US as the major sources.

China has been accused of shipping its agricultural products through a third country to circumvent Taiwan’s import regulations.

Since late August, there has been an oversupply of locally grown cabbage, pushing down the wholesale price per kilogram to NT$16, the COA’s Web site showed.

The price might drop even further next month, the peak cabbage season, which prompted the government to take action.

At the same time, 11 agricultural and seafood items would be added to an existing list that requires certain imported agricultural products to have a certificate of origin before entering the nation, Council of Agriculture Deputy Minister Chen Junne-jih (陳駿季) said.

After a cross-agency meeting on Monday, it was decided that imported cabbage, garlic, red beans, peanuts, small abalones, clams, clam chowders, mushrooms, gynura bicolors, broccoli and green tea must be properly labeled before being allowed to enter Taiwan to prevent their sale affecting the local market, as happened last year, he said.

Currently, shallots, fried garlic, eels, tilapia and oysters are required to have certificates of origin to enter Taiwan.

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