The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday released three draft regulations governing the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which would lower the threshold of tolerance for authorized GMOs in non-GM foods from 5 percent to 3 percent.
“Under the draft regulations, packaged foods containing GMOs or non-GM foods and ingredients that ‘unintentionally contain’ more than 3 percent GM materials are required to label the products as ‘genetically modified’ or ‘containing GMOs,’” said Lee Wan-chen (李婉媜), a section head at the agency’s Division of Food Safety.
Food ingredients that are sold loose or in small quantities are also to be subject to the same regulations, such as soybeans, soybean milk, tofu and vegetarian meat made from soy, Lee said.
Those who fail to comply would face a fine ranging from NT$30,000 to NT$3 million (US$1,000 to NT$100,000), as stipulated in Article 47 of the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法), Lee added.
Public comments on the draft regulations are set to close on July 19 and the regulations are scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2016, except for the one governing the labeling of unpackaged GM materials, which is to be implemented in three phases, Lee said.
As of this month, the FDA has approved 67 GM food ingredients, all of which are imported, mainly from the US.
Lee said the regulations are designed to assuage some consumers’ concerns about genetically modified foods by improving transparency in GMO labeling.
“We are hoping to help consumers make informed food choices,” Lee added.
With regard to the agency’s controversial decision to lower the threshold to 3 percent rather than 0.9 percent as Minister of Health and Welfare Chiu Wen-ta (邱文達) had promised, Lee said the decision was made after factoring in the nation’s food supply and demand.
“Nevertheless, a further lowering of the tolerance threshold is still possible, depending on the effects of the regulations,” she said.
Currently, the unintentional presence threshold for GMOs in non-GM foods is 0.9 percent in the EU, 1 percent in New Zealand and Australia, 3 percent in Malaysia and South Korea, and 5 percent in Japan.
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
STABILITY AND CHANGE: Flagging in recent polls, Ko this week pledged to maintain President Tsai’s foreign policy, with an emphasis on improving China relations Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday reiterated that he is “deep-green at heart” in response to accusations that he is pivoting his campaign to align closer with the ideology of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the face of flagging polls. Ko made the remark at an agricultural policy conference in Taipei, repeating his comments from an interview with CTS News a day earlier. Ko told the CTS host that he would continue to pursue President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) national defense and foreign policy in general, but with an emphasis on establishing a rapport with
CHINA illness surge: Of 88 travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macau with respiratory symptoms who were encouraged to get tested upon arrival, 70.6% had the flu Two hundred and sixty people with COVID-19 were hospitalized and 31 deaths related to the virus were reported last week — the highest numbers in four weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, adding that cases are expected to peak next month. CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said that of the 260 people hospitalized last week with moderate to severe COVID-19, 98 percent had not received the Omicron XBB.1.5-adapted COVID-19 vaccine. Among the people hospitalized this year, 78 percent were aged 65 or older, while most of the those who were hospitalized or died have or had
Taiwanese who have recently traveled to China for tourism, to visit friends or relatives or for business reasons have been interrogated, detained and faced other forms of unreasonable treatment from Chinese officials, a source said on Sunday. Among them was a Taiwanese who was detained for eight hours at an airport in China due to their research, which is related to religion, while others have had their travel documents for China canceled for a number of reasons, the source said. In July, China expanded the scope of its counterespionage law, and recently announced a draft amendment to the law on the protection