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Cabinet defends efforts on food safety violations

2017/05/19 18:31:50

(CNA file photo)

Taipei, May 19 (CNA) A recent string of incidents in which food or drug manufacturers were found to be using expired ingredients or supplying expired products are mainly the results of the government's tightened efforts to address violations, Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said Friday.

Hsu was responding to an Apple Daily report that said seven such incidents involving products including frozen meat, pineapple cake, snacks and gastrointestinal pills have been discovered over the past 14 days and argued that the government should be held responsible for the problem.

In the report, a critic familiar with the issue was cited as saying that the Ministry of Health and Welfare has not properly fulfilled its duty to conduct inspections, leading to a failure to end the violations.

Hsu, however, described the report as totally unfounded and seriously misleading.

Under the government's policy of strengthening inspections, more than 450,000 food products by some 100,000 manufacturers were inspected in 2016 alone, he said.

While three of the seven incidents were uncovered during inspections conducted by the government on its own initiative, the remaining four came to light with the help of tip-offs, he said.

He added that these cases are a major achievement in the government's fight against immoral manufacturers, rather than the result of lax enforcement.

(By Ku Chuan and Y.F. Low)