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Taiwan to clamp down on falsely labeled farm products to avert glut

2019/10/15 22:09:01

Taipei, Oct. 15 (CNA) The Council of Agriculture (COA) announced Tuesday a clampdown on falsely labeled imported agricultural products following complaints from farmers and importers that cabbages from China have allegedly been imported into Taiwan labeled as Vietnamese products.

During the period from Jan. 1 to Oct. 15, a total of 56,077 metric tons of foreign cabbages entered Taiwan, an amount that is higher than the entire levels of 2018 and 2017 at 31,770 and 39,283 metric tons, respectively, according to COA data, with Indonesia, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan and the United States the major sources.

China has been accused of transshipping its agricultural products via a third country in order to circumvent Taiwan's import regulations.

Since late August, there has been an oversupply of locally grown cabbages, pushing down the wholesale price per kilogram to NT$16 (US$0.52) recently, the COA's website showed.

It is widely feared that the price will drop even further in the peak cabbage season around November, which has prompted the government to take action to assuage farmers' complaints in a timely manner.

At the same time, Taiwan has decided to add 11 agricultural and seafood items to an existing list that requires certain imported agricultural products to have a certificate of origin in order to enter the country, Council of Agriculture (COA) Deputy Minister Chen Junne-jih (陳駿季) said.

Following a cross-agency meeting Monday, it was decided that imported cabbages, garlic, red beans, peanuts, small abalones, clams, clam chowders, mushrooms, gynura deux couleurs, broccoli and green tea must be properly labeled before being allowed entry to Taiwan to prevent an impact on the local market as happened last year, Chen said.

Currently, imports of shallots, fried garlic, eels, tilapia and oysters are the five products required to have certificates of origin in order to enter Taiwan.

(By Flor Wang and Yang Shu-min)
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