More than 300 food products thought to have been imported under false pretenses have cleared radiation testing, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported yesterday, as more potentially problematic products await testing.
The products were on a growing list of items thought to have been illegally imported from five Japanese prefectures near the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.
The number of Japanese food products subjected to testing for radioactive content exceeds the list of food items believed to have been imported to Taiwan with false origin labeling, FDA senior specialist Wang Te-yuan (王德原) yesterday morning told a news conference in Taipei.
As of 10am yesterday, 286 food products imported by 13 Taiwanese companies were thought to have been manufactured in Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma or Chiba prefectures. All foods from the region have been barred from import since the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster in March 2011.
Six products were removed from the list yesterday after they were confirmed to have been produced outside of the five prefectures — or were repeats of items already included on the list, Wang said.
A total of 333 food products have passed the radioactive testing conducted by the Atomic Energy Council, up from 193 on Wednesday, Wang said, adding that all potentially contaminated products are legally required to be pulled off store shelves before today as a precautionary measure.
Under the current law, individuals or companies who import food items produced in the five Japanese prefectures or who file fraudulent customs declaration papers could face a fine ranging from NT$30,000 to NT$3 million (US$955 to US$95,526).
The radiation scare originated from the administration’s discovery earlier last month of two soy sauce products imported by a trading firm based in Taipei.
The items’ Chinese-language origin labels indicated that they were produced in Tokyo, but the Japanese labels attached underneath suggested they were actually manufactured in Chiba and Gunma, prompting a wider investigation of imported Japanese foods.
Turning to some implicated companies’ denial of responsibility for the fabricated origin labels, Wang said they would be spared from an inevitable fate of a permanent recall and destruction of their products — which are only subjected to a preventive recall at the moment — if they manage to obtain a place of origin certificate from the Japanese government.
A total of 104.4 tonnes of allegedly illegally imported foodstuffs have been sealed and confiscated thus far, pending further investigation.
OFFLINE: People who do not wish to register can get the money from select ATMs using their bank card, ID number and National Health Insurance card number Online registration for NT$6,000 (US$196.32) cash payments drawn from last year’s tax surplus is to open today for eligible people whose national ID or permanent residency number ends in either a zero or a one, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday. Officials from the ministry revealed which days Taiwanese and eligible foreigners would be able to register for the cash payments at a joint news conference with the Ministry of Digital Affairs. Online registration is to open tomorrow for those whose number ends in a two or three; on Friday for those that end in a four or five: on Saturday
Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) officials are investigating why a Starlux Airlines flight to Penang, Malaysia, returned to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport nearly two hours after takeoff yesterday morning. The airline said in a statement that Flight JX721 to Penang took off from Taoyuan airport at 9:20am. “After the dashboard showed a signal of an abnormality in the hydraulic system, the captain followed standard operating procedures and returned the flight to Taoyuan airport for safety precautions,” the airline said, adding that the flight landed safely at the airport at 11:04am. The airline arranged for the passengers to have lunch after the flight landed and
TECH PROGRAM: A US official said that an important part of the delegation’s trip would be to meet with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co executives The US is to send officials in charge of chip development to Taiwan, Japan and South Korea to promote cooperation in the global semiconductor supply chain, the US Department of Commerce said on Tuesday. Chips Program Office Director Michael Schmidt announced the visit, which marks the first time officials from the office are to visit the three nations since it was set up in September last year. “As semiconductors and technologies continue to evolve, the United States will keep working with allies and partners to develop coordinated strategies to ensure that malign actors cannot use the latest technologies to undermine our collective
WORKING UP AN APPETITE: Sales at the Rueifong Night Market surged 20 to 30 percent, while seats at Liouhe Night Market were packed until 1am, market officials said South Korean pop band Blackpink’s concerts over the weekend in Kaohsiung helped draw large crowds to local night markets, the Kaohsiung City Government said yesterday. The two concerts on Saturday and Sunday at Kaohsiung National Stadium drew more than 90,000 people. The city government offered NT$50 vouchers to spend locally to concertgoers who showed their ticket stubs. Liouhe Night Market (六合夜市) management committee head Chuang Chi-chang (莊其章) said that crowds over the weekend surged at about 10pm and the market remained packed until 1:30am. “Almost all the seats were filled,” Chuang said. Night market stall owners had stocked up in expectation of an increased number