Mainland, Taiwan urged to jointly oversee food safety

Updated: 2011-06-04 13:13
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HANGZHOU - Entrepreneurs and industry analysts have called for the establishment of a joint food safety system between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan as the island's tainted beverage scandal continues.

The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement signed in 2010 between the mainland and Taiwan will continue to boost cross-Strait trade of agricultural and food products, which makes the joint system necessary, said Yang Jinfa, president of Taiwan Merchant Association of Hangzhou City, east China's Zhejiang province.

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The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said that starting from June 1, the mainland will suspend imports of beverages, food products and food additives from Taiwan that are produced by companies suspected of using bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), an organic compound that is used by manufacturers to soften plastic.

The food safety commission under the State Council, or cabinet, has ordered increased inspections and instant recalls of beverages, food products and additives contaminated with DEHP.

After the circular, mainland plants of Taiwan food companies, such as Master Kong and Uni-President, said that all products were produced on the mainland, and it was impossible for these products to contain DEHP.

Chen Jing, an analyst of beverage industry with Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultancy Co. Ltd, said because a small amount of Taiwan-produced beverages were imported to the mainland, the impact on the mainland market would be minimum.