FDA to Increase Food Safety Budget by 8 Percent


Minister Chiang Been-huang of the Ministry of Health and Welfare said on October 29 that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will seek to increase its budget by approximately 8 percent to conduct food safety investigations overseas.

The Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee of the Legislative Yuan conducted a review session concerning the 2015 annual budget of the Ministry of Health and Welfare on October 29. During the session, Chiang said that the annual expenditure budget for 2015 will increase by 8.22 percept, which will raise spending by $183 Million NTD. Along with a proposed increase in the annual revenue budget of 7.93 percent, the FDA will be able to strengthen management of both food safety and sanitation.

The minister also said 75 individuals will be added to the roster of investigative personnel, with a $70 Million NTD fund to be distributed to local health bureaus for investigative purposes.

FDA Director Jiang Yu-mei also added that the increase in revenue will be applied predominantly toward conducting food safety investigations of overseas manufacturers, including those who produce edible lard and exporters of food.

In related news, the FDA stated on Tuesday that, following the recent contamination of oil with ingredients originating in Hong Kong and Vietnam, all local purchasers are required to provide a list of ingredient manufacturers from whom they wish to buy. These factories need to be certified by their respective governments. The administration will then conduct an investigation at the factories to determine whether it is safe in an effort to guarantee the quality of their goods.

Currently, nine countries have agreed to the terms of the FDA. Jiang went on to say that Taiwan will continue to negotiate with the three remaining countries that export animal-based lard and oil to Taiwan.

However, Jiang also said that the FDA does not have the authority to stop local companies from purchasing materials from unlisted countries or factories. To do business with an unlisted company, a local manufacturer should acquire official approval from the government of the country the factory is in, so the FDA can conduct an investigation before putting a manufacturer on the approved list.

Importers will have to sign an affidavit at customs for any oil or lard materials from factories not on the approved list. After an affidavit has been signed, any of the imported products can be destroyed or returned if not approved after the FDA has examined them, Jiang said.

Source: China Post