Civic groups yesterday said the Cabinet’s draft of a toxic chemical substances control act is vague and full of loopholes and that a review of the bill at the legislature today should be suspended.
At a joint press conference yesterday, seven civic groups asked the government to modify its proposal to include full-scale management of toxic chemicals and compulsory disclosure of information to the public.
“The Environmental Protection Administration has listed 302 types of chemicals that are to be controlled, but if it loses control of the use of just one toxic chemical, it could affect thousands of products,” said Gaston Wu (吳家誠), a professor of chemistry at National Taiwan Normal University, noting that regulation of the approximately 79,000 types of chemical used in Taiwan is “full of loopholes” and that consumers “do not feel safe.”
Homemakers United Foundation president Chen Man-li (陳曼麗) said as a consumer and mother she is concerned about incomplete information on products and the inability to tell whether the chemical substances used as ingredients or components in products are harmful.
Each chemical substance should have only one official Chinese name so that companies cannot use different names to conceal harmful ingredients in their products, Wu said, adding that much of the information printed on products is too vague, for example using “lavender fragrance” rather than the more than 20 chemical substances used to make it.
“If the government allows manufacturers to use ‘commercially confidential information’ as an excuse for not revealing all the chemicals in products, then who is going to protect companies’ employees from long-term exposure to toxic chemicals?” said Yang Kuo-chen (楊國楨), a member of the Taiwan Association for Victims of Occupational Accidents and Diseases, adding that the act should require companies to list all the chemicals used in their products.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: A US Air Force KC-135 tanker came less than 1,000 feet of an EVA plane and was warned off by a Taipei air traffic controller, a report said A US aerial refueling aircraft came very close to an EVA Airways jet in the airspace over southern Taiwan, a military aviation news Web site said. A report published by Alert 5 on Tuesday said that automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) data captured by planfinder.net on Wednesday last week showed a US Air Force KC-135 tanker “coming less than 1,000 feet [305m] vertically with EVA Air flight BR225 as both aircraft crossed path south of Taiwan” that morning. The report included an audio recording of a female controller from the Taipei air traffic control center telling the unidentified aircraft that it was
A US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas,” the US military said yesterday, as tensions between China and Taiwan raise concerns in Washington. US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that the strike group entered the South China Sea on Saturday, the same day Taiwan reported a large incursion of Chinese bombers and fighter jets into its air defense identification zone near the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島). The US military said the carrier strike group was in the South China Sea, a large part of which
STRATEGIC MISTAKE: Beijing’s deployment of aircraft near Taiwan proves the ‘China threat theory’ that sees it attempting to destabilize the region, an analyst said China on Saturday and yesterday sent a record number of military aircraft into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), in what analysts said was an attempt to flex its military might for US President Joe Biden. Thirteen Chinese warplanes flew into Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ on Saturday and 15 entered yesterday, the highest number observed in a single day this year, the Ministry of National Defense said. On Saturday, eight Xian H-6K bombers, four Shenyang J-16 fighters and a Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, entered the ADIZ, while yesterday there were two Y-8s, two Su-30s, four J-16s, six J-10 fighters and a Y-8 reconnaissance
DISPOSING MYTHS: A new constitution would better reflect reality, as the current one was drafted ‘in and for China,’ without the consent of Taiwanese, advocates said Independence advocates yesterday launched the Taiwan New Constitution Alliance to promote drafting a new, localized constitution. “This is a historic moment for Taiwan. Drafting a new constitution is the most important task Taiwanese face,” veteran independence advocate Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) said at the inaugural event in Taipei. “Although the Democratic Progressive Party is in power, its authority is based on the Republic of China [ROC] Constitution, which has no connection to Taiwan,” said the 95-year-old Koo, a former presidential adviser. “The historic task of drafting a new constitution depends on efforts by all Taiwanese,” Koo said. “A constitution for a sovereign, independent Taiwan