Taipei, Dec. 18 (CNA) Fines will be imposed on eight companies which have been found to have imported foods from Japan's radiation-affected areas, Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Sunday.
As of Sunday, a total of 39 Japanese food products and nearly 60,000 items have been pulled from store shelves in Taiwan, with many of them being soy sauce and wasabi packets that go with Japanese natto, or fermented soybeans.
FDA Northern Center Senior Executive Officer Wei Jen-ting (魏任廷) said 103 importers and 849 distributors island-wide have been questioned since Monday, urging vendors to check the food items they are selling, and notify health authorities if their products came from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures.
Of the 39 products, 26 have tested negative for radiation contamination, while 13 are still being screened, Wei said.
Among the eight importers of these problematic products, Tai Crown Co. (太冠公司) is subjected to a fine of NT$1 million, he said.
The FDA said it will step up inspection of food imported from Japan and will ask importers and distributors to list the places of origin, including the prefecture, on the product labels in Chinese.
Failure to provide Chinese labeling could also result in a fine of between NT$30,000 (US$937) and NT$3 million, it said.
The affected companies have one month to explain themselves, or else the fines will be issued in accordance with the law.
(By Chang Ming-hsuan and Ko Lin)