Premier vows to make food safer for consumers

  • Date: 2016-06-23
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan
<p>20160623 Premier vows to make food safer for consumers</p>

Premier  Lin  Chuan  today  vowed  to  improve  Taiwan’s  food  safety  situation,  saying  the  government  will  not  tolerate  an  environment  in  which  the  public  felt  uneasy  or  insecure  about  the  food  they  consume  every  day.

Convening  his  first  Executive  Yuan  food  safety  meeting  since  the  new  administration  took  office  in  May,  the  premier  said  the  purpose  of  the  meeting  is  not  only  to  implement  President  Tsai  Ing-wen’s  food  safety  policies  but  also  to  take  up  the  responsibility  for  making  food  safer  for  citizens  and  to  come  up  with  better  response  policies.

“Across  Taiwan,  people  are  concerned  about  the  safety  of  food  products  because  it  affects  the  health  of  their  families.  Since  this  is  a  matter  of  public  concern,  the  government  must  take  up  responsibility  and  do  its  part,”  he  said.

During  the  meeting,  the  premier  underscored  the  importance  of  the  proposed  “five  rings  of  food  safety”  reform  program,  adding  that  each  of  the  five  components  will  be  closely  examined  at  future  meetings.  The  Executive  Yuan  will  implement  all  measures  as  soon  as  the  program  is  approved  and  keep  a  close  eye  on  its  progress.

Under  the  five  rings  program,  the  government  is  planning  to  increase  its  food  safety  improvement  spending  from  NT$40  to  NT$60  (US$1.23  to  US$1.84)  per  person  per  year,  the  Council  of  Agriculture  said.  While  this  level  still  lags  behind  those  of  advanced  countries,  it  nonetheless  marks  a  large  step  forward  for  the  government.  The  council  also  plans  to  make  high-risk  products  a  top  priority  by  working  closely  with  the  Executive  Yuan  food  safety  committee  and  other  groups  on  random  inspections  of  high-risk  food  products.

As  for  a  proposal  by  the  Executive  Yuan  Office  of  Food  Safety  to  set  up  a  national  agency  on  food  safety  risk  evaluation,  Lin  said  the  food  safety  committee  members  have  provided  helpful  recommendations  on  how  to  establish  an  independent,  comprehensive  and  credible  evaluation  mechanism.  The  short-term  focus  will  be  on  establishing  an  independent  evaluation  method,  and  he  asked  the  committee  to  help  resolve  problems  in  this  regard.  As  for  long-term  plans,  Lin  instructed  the  Office  of  Food  Safety  to  follow  the  committee’s  recommendations  and  come  up  with  specific  plans  at  the  next  meeting.

Today’s  meeting  also  included  reports  on  food  safety  operations  at  central  and  local  governments,  as  well  as  on  the  progress  of  separating  food  and  non-food  production  facilities  by  manufacturers.