The two sides of the Taiwan Strait have formally established a direct
communications mechanism for food safety-related issues, the
quasi-official Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) said Monday in a
the mechanism, two major commodity inspection and food safety control
agencies on each side have been designated as channels for direct
communication and real-time reporting whenever any major food poisoning
case is reported, the SEF statement said.
now on, the statement said, the Bureau of Food Safety under Taiwan's Department of Health will
contact the Health Supervision Bureau under China's Ministry of Health
in the event of food safety issues of public concern, and vice versa.
the statement went on, commodity inspection agencies on the two sides
-- the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection under Taiwan's
Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Import and Export Food Safety
Bureau under China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection
and Quarantine -- will also forge a similar direct dialogue and
communications channel for food safety-related information exchanges,
mutual assistance and emergency response.
two sides reached a preliminary consensus on the establishment of a
direct cross-strait communications mechanism to deal with emergency
food poisoning cases during a working-level meeting in Beijing in late
Monday, the SEF informed its Chinese counterpart -- the Association for
Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) -- of the Taiwan
government's decision to pick its food safety and commodity inspection
agencies as its designated liaisons with relevant Chinese authorities.
SEF said it received a response from the ARATS shortly afterward,
saying that the Chinese government also chose its health supervision
and commodity inspection agencies to serve as liaison agencies with Taiwan.
now, the SEF statement said, all the formalities have been completed
for the installation of a direct communications mechanism for food
need to craft direct cross-strait dialogue channels to deal with food
safety issues arose after the recent melamine scare.
a nitrogen-rich chemical used to make plastics and fertilizers, has
been widely used in China
to spike watered-down milk to mask the resulting protein deficiency and
fool quality tests.
contamination of baby formula has been blamed for the deaths of at
least four infants and kidney illnesses in more than 53,000 children in
shipment of 25 tons of milk powder imported into Taiwan from China earlier this year has
also caused a stir in the local food market and led to the resignation
of Lin Fang-yue as DOH minister late last
the arrangements of the SEF and the ARATS -- the two quasi-official
intermediary bodies authorized to handle cross-strait exchanges in the
absence of official ties -- a Taiwan delegation of health
officials and experts visited Beijing Sept.27-29 to discuss the
establishment of a direct communciations
mechanism to deal with relevant issues.