Department of Health (DOH) Minister (衛生署長) Chiu Wen-ta (邱文達) declared yesterday that if any upstream supplier (上游廠商) in the food industry avoids inspections (躲避稽查) or fails to report where its DEHP-contaminated products have been sold to (拒絕說明產品流向), the supplier will be shut down (停止營業) or its license will be withdrawn (撤照處分) for violations of both the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) (消保法) and the Food Sanitation Act (食品衛生管理法).
As the plasticizer (塑化劑) crisis exacerbates, health products and even baked goods are now considered contaminated. The DOH’s Chiu expressed to the United Daily Evening news yesterday his determination in guarding the consumers’ dietary safety and warned those upstream suppliers who still hesitate to reveal their downstream buyers against potential legal enforcement.
exacerbate / ɪg`zæsər,beɪt / (v.) to make a problem worse
His aggressive reaction only exacerbated the situation.
The symptoms may be exacerbated by certain drugs.
Despite the fact that the image of Made in Taiwan food products has already been greatly damaged by the plasticizer crisis, Chiu said, the DOH will not suspend (暫緩) the investigations; instead, it aspires to reorganize the safety mechanism of the food industry and rebuild the Made in Taiwan image.
Chiu pointed out that investigations of the largest scale in history have been conducted since the outbreak of the plasticizer crisis, and 80 percent of the downstream food products have been inspected. The DOH has been focusing on inspecting Yu Shen Chemical Co. (昱伸公司), Ben Hur Spices and Chemicals (賓漢香料化學公司) and their downstream buyers to prevent further plasticizer contamination, Chiu said.
The DOH will hold a National Food Safety Conference after the plasticizer crisis settles, Chiu said, to which government officials, experts, factory owners, and consumer representatives will be invited to discuss the safety and management of food products. Topics will include plasticizers, food additives, Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification, and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) certification.
Regarding future compensation to consumers who have developed health problems due to the plasticizers, Chiu promised that the DOH will provide necessary support in the form of money. Consumers will have to meet compensation requirements, including providing at least partial proof of having fallen ill due to the effects of these banned substances, Chiu reminded.