Taiwan Puts Brakes on GE Food Imports
Farm News from Cropchoice

An alternative news service for American farmers
Taiwan to Label GMO Foods

(18 October - Cropchoice News) -- Health authorities in Taiwan
announced yesterday that they will follow the lead of other Asian
countries and require mandatory labelling of food with GMO
ingredients. According to officials, the government will act quickly
and develop the necessary regulations by the end of this year.
are to be required in 2001.

Chen Shu-kong, a senior Taiwanese health official, told Reuters
"According to our information, there is no safety concern on
genetically-altered foods. The labelling is to allow consumers the
right to choose." The government has yet to decide on a labelling
threshold - European officials are placing theirs at 1%, while Japan
settled on 0.1%.

Taiwan is a major importer of US grains. In the case of corn,
Taiwan imported over 4.5 million metric tons last year. Of this, 99.2% was
bought from US farmers. Taiwanese officials estimate 30% of their
supply is currently GMO.

The government's decision is in response to intense pressure and
follows publication of a Gallup poll in which 74% of Taiwanese said they
expected the government to require labels on GMO food.

According to Reuters, Uni-Food Enterprises, Tawan's largest food
company, reacted to the news by promising to comply with the
requirements and move toward using non-GMO ingredients. The company,
with $2.6 billion in annual sales, makes animal feeds, dairy
products, frozen foods, instant noodles, and soft drinks.

SOURCE: Reuters, USDA, Hoover's

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