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Thwart pesticide smuggling and review drug pricing: Premier

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At the weekly Executive Yuan meeting held today, Premier Sean Chen instructed the Council of Agriculture (COA) to crack down on the smuggling of substandard pesticides and swiftly formulate concrete measures to prevent these products from harming consumers' health.

Chen noted that a recent American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei survey included in the group's 2012 Taiwan White Paper found that more than 30 percent of all pesticides used in Taiwan are contraband, underscoring the necessity of government intervention.

Because smuggled illegal pesticides directly damage both consumers' health and farmers' interests, and a crackdown on trafficking would require inter-agency coordination, Chen asked the COA to include the issue on the agenda for the Executive Yuan's Consumer Protection Commission convened by Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huah. Preliminary discussions on possible government actions would be held there, and other agencies would be asked to jointly study new preventive measures if necessary.

The 2012 Taiwan White Paper included 30 recommendations that were reported to the premier. Another of them was that the government look into whether prices for new domestic drugs are too low. Chen asked the Department of Health to study the issue and said the National Health Insurance program and the growth of domestic pharmaceutical manufacturers should be taken into consideration.

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