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China Times: Is the government dumb or irresponsible?

China Times: Is the government dumb or irresponsible?

Those who had wolfed down super-sized fried chicken at the night market Saturday were dumbfounded the next morning when they saw newspapers headlining that a highly infectious outbreak of bird flu is on in Taiwan and that it could cause chicken meat and eggs to be poisonous. President Ma Ying-jeou on Sunday gave three directives: the Council of Agriculture (COA) apologize to the nation for delaying the report about a highly infectious outbreak of avian influenza in central Taiwan, relevant officials be disciplined, and the government spare no efforts to contain the outbreak and compensate. The latest incident, taking the country by an angry suprise, underlines that the COA and its subordinate offices have not just had one disease-control screw loose. The COA was alerted in December that a highly virulent H5N2 strain of avian flu had infected chickens at a farm in Changhua County. The officials, however, first refused to hear it, than rebutted it. When they finally agreed to face it, it was February. So far, thousands of chickens have been culled as a preventive measure and past medical data showed that H5N2 avian flu will not leave humans infected. What is more creepy is the officials' mentality. The whole country is watching what the COA will do to win back its credibility and consumers' confidence in it, particularly when Taiwan is still mired in the whirlpool of a U.S. beef import controversy. (Editorial abstract -- March 5, 2012) (By Deborah Kuo)


Updated : 2021-07-24 13:22 GMT+08:00