Food safety to feature prominently in Chiang-Chen meeting


Source of Article:


Central News Agency
2008-10-29 09:13 PM



Food safety will be a major topic of

discussion when Chiang Pin-kung, chairman of Taiwan's semi-official

Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), meets with his Chinese counterpart

Chen Yunlin early next month, Department of Health (DOH) Minister Yeh

Ching-chuan said Wednesday.

Yeh told reporters that Chiang and Chen, president of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) , are expected to sign an agreement under which both sides of the Taiwan Strait will establish a mechanism to ensure food safety.

Chen is scheduled to arrive in Taipei Nov. 3 for a five-day visit at the invitation of Chiang for a second round of talks between them. They last met in Beijing in June.

Yeh pointed out that there is already a dialogue channel between the Cabinet-level DOH and the Ministry of Health of China, and that health officials from the two sides have already reached consensus on the text of the agreement to be finalized and signed at the meeting.

According to Yeh, under the proposed food safety mechanism, China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine should strictly enforce the same standards for food exports to Taiwan, the United States, Europe and Japan.

In addition, he added, the DOH will set up a food and drug administration to stop the import of all substandard food products from China at Taiwan's borders.

The mechanism will allow for compensation to those who have suffered harm and losses due to toxic and substandard food imports from China, Yeh said.

Taiwan's food sector has suffered a series of blows as a result of the importation of melamine-tainted food products, including milk power, protein powder and ammonium bicarbonate -- a bread raising agent -- from China.

Many coffee shops and bakeries have complained that the melamine scare has caused them to lose up to 50 percent of their business.



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