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Luis Ko: A new government approach is needed for food safety

Luis Ko: A new government approach is needed for food safety

Luis Ko, general manager of I-Mei Foods Company, recently wrote a letter to urge the government to reconsider the current food safety regulations. Below is the translation of the full text of his statement:

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After six days of deliberation during the Lunar New Year holidays, we appeal to the Premier and Legislators to act to resolve six decades of problems in Taiwan’s food industry. A new government approach is needed to overcome shortcomings in the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation!

1. Decisions made by the government several decades ago regarding industrial development in Taiwan have resulted in the pollution and other problems that we as a people are now facing. As a result, things that we have been ingesting for all this time have made us what we are today. We should keep these ideas in mind: “You are what you eat. We are what we eat. I am what I eat.”

2. The food safety crisis arose out of global environmental pollution, and solving the crisis in food safety calls for controlling damages from such pollution through cooperation between various cities and counties, various government agencies and various nations around the world. At the same time, these efforts must be backed up by laws that will be adequate and effective.

3. Proper resolution of these problems need to be achieved by dividing the existing Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation into three different rules overseen by separate authorities:
Safety and Sanitation Act for Food Ingredients: to be overseen and enforced primarily by the Council of Agriculture;
Safety and Sanitation Act for Finished Food Products: to be overseen and enforced primarily by the Ministry of Health and Welfare;
Safety and Sanitation Act for Food Waste Recycling Collection: to be overseen and enforced primarily by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The reasons for allocating responsibilities in this way are many, and the Chinese New Year break is not the right time for these reasons to be laid out.

4. When I outlined this line of thought to friends a few days ago, the immediate reaction was almost unanimous: “That’s impossible!”

They protested that the Executive Yuan, the Legislative Yuan and the ruling and opposition parties would all say, “An amendment to the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation has only been in effect for a short while, and taking such a drastic step would be a tremendous loss of face for those who drafted the law.”

5. Looking back at long years of experience, we find we have no choice but to insist that those with the authority to act in this matter should reflect on this during the holiday period: “The people must have food to live, and really effective food safety laws and proper care of our citizens are much more valuable than saving face for anyone!”

6. For the sake of the health of generations to come, and to ensure the safety of the food that you and I consume every day, we say to everyone: “Business people, government officials, experts, and residents of town and country, we all must get involved!”


Updated : 2021-09-23 22:22 GMT+08:00