People should be on the alert for masks on some e-commerce sites that are falsely labeled as being made in Taiwan, a pharmaceutical association in Taipei said on Thursday.
This week, more than 140,000 imported masks with false labels were seized by the Customs Administration, the Taiwan Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management Association said.
People should buy masks from reputable brick-and-mortar stores, where they can verify the product’s origin, association president Kao Meng-hsi (高孟熙) said.
Photo courtesy of Taipei Customs
Masks that are properly packaged are safer than those sold in transparent plastic bags with no label, he added.
Buyers should find the Chinese National Standard (CNS) number on the package, as well as the manufacturer’s name and contact information, pharmacist Shen Tsai-ying (沈采穎) said.
Boxes of masks should be labeled “CNS14774,” indicating that the product has been approved for medical use, Shen said, adding that not all masks are made to that standard, as some are only meant to protect against dust and other types of atmospheric pollution.
The CNS number indicates “compliance of product quality with national standards and the compliance of manufacturers’ quality management systems with the requirements of ISO 9000 series of standards,” the Web site of the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection says.
The issue of mask quality and origin arose after the Customs Administration seized 7,350 imported masks on Monday and another 132,781 masks the following day — all falsely labeled “Made in Taiwan.”
The masks were shipped via courier from China or Hong Kong and had documents falsely listing Taiwan as the origin, Taipei Customs officers said on Wednesday.
The Customs Administration said that since Aug. 1, it has been checking the postal system and courier services more rigorously for counterfeit masks, as people have been importing cheap masks to resell at a markup.
Government approval is required to import masks for use in medical facilities or resale, the Customs Administration said, adding that masks made in Taiwan are of higher quality than those produced in China.
Furthermore, Taiwan prohibits the importation of foreign-made goods that have been falsely labeled to misrepresent the country of manufacture, either through text or representative markings, the Customs Administration said.
The unlimited sale of surgical masks resumed in Taiwan in June, after months of rationing by the government, which was requisitioning the bulk of the domestic supply for medical use amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Taiwan had since increased production to meet local demand and also to supply overseas markets.
A video allegedly featuring retired general Kao An-kuo (高安國) calling on Taiwanese military officers to surrender to China and overthrow the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has sparked outrage and calls for him to be charged with treason. The video, titled “A message to Taiwanese military officers,” allegedly shows Kao saying: “I call on commanding officers of our military troops to stand up for Chinese nationalism, to take up this duty under heaven’s mandate to save Taiwanese from oppression and terrible suffering.” Dressed in military fatigues and a beret, the lieutenant general called on officers to overthrow the “fraudulent DPP regime,”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday rejected the claim Beijing has been making about Taiwan’s status, while thanking US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman for raising concerns about Taiwan during her meeting with Chinese officials. Sherman met with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) on a visit to Tianjin on Sunday and Monday, with Wang urging Washington not to infringe on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Taiwan is part of China, a fundamental fact that would never change, and China has the right to take any action needed to restrain Taiwanese independence, Wang said, urging Washington to abide
HASTY REVIEW CLAIMS: Medigen’s vaccine, which is to start phase 3 clinical trials later this year, should not have received emergency use authorization, Hau said Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) vice chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) is to appeal the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization of Medigen Vaccine Biologics’ COVID-19 vaccine, he said yesterday. The administration on July 19 granted Medigen emergency use authorization, even though the drugmaker had not yet completed phase 3 clinical trials. The government should not authorize the use of a vaccine that has not completed phase 3 trials, Hau said in Taipei on the sidelines of an event to distribute boxed meals with former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Broadcasting Corp of China chairman Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康). Hau said the government had politicized
ELDERLY AT RISK: Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang said 90 percent of those who died in a local outbreak were aged 60 or older Taiwan won plaudits for its successful containment of COVID-19 last year, which made its recent virus resurgence all the more surprising. Data show that it was unusually deadly, as well. While Taiwan has seen fewer than 800 COVID-19 deaths in total, 500 of them occurred last month alone, amid its biggest virus wave to date. The pathogen got through the stringent border curbs that had kept local infections at bay for most of last year, seeding an outbreak that tore through the then-largely unvaccinated elderly population. This pushed the case-fatality ratio to as high as that seen in Italy and the UK