Archive for the ‘Safety’ Tag

Who will benefit from Taiwan lifts ban on U.S. beef import

AFP/File – A staff is seen packaging imported US beef for sale at a Taipei supermarket.

AFP/File – A staff is seen packaging imported US beef for sale at a Taipei supermarket.

Recently, the Taiwan government claims that Taiwan will lift ban on U.S. beef import, which is a six year long ban because of mad cow disease. Taiwan will improve the trade relation with the U.S. because of this.

The Taiwan department of health announced that U.S. bone-in beef entering Taiwan is “from cattle less than 30 months of age and meets other requirements”, and they will import all the part of cattle except the one which is in the high risk of mad cow diseases. That is, cattle parts such as brains, skulls, eyes, spinal nerve roots, tonsils and small intestines, as “particularly risky” and these items remain on lists of export or import bans.

But this new change still arouse the critics from Taiwanese consumers, they argued that the government are not concerned about people’s health.

From the health minister Yang Chih-liang, there will be two limitations for the import of U.S. beef. First, only bone-in beef from cattle less than 30 months old will be allowed to be imported. Second, Importers of US bone-in beef must have export permits and safety guarantees from the US Department of Agriculture.

In 2003, the U.S. broke out the first case of mad cow diseases, then Taiwan forbad the beef import from U.S. But after that, U.S. gave pressure to Taiwan government, to request the import again, reported by local media. And Taiwan also lifted a ban during these years. In that year, Japan, Korea ban US beef imports on mad cow fears.

Taiwan is the sixth large overseas market for U.S. . As far as I am concerned, the issue is not only related to the food safety and food consumes, but more likely a political one between U.S. and Taiwan. Will the people in Taiwan benefit from this? I think the government should clarify it to the people, or it not deserves to exchange people’s health with the political concerns.

Links:

Japan suspends beef imports from US plant

http://money.aol.com/article/japan-suspends-us-plants-beef-amid-mad/712384

 Thousands in S Korea beef protest

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7491482.stm

 

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Chinese mooncake’s export face the tough time this year

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(The above graphic is from the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service homepage)

The Mid-Autumn Festival is coming soon, and eating mooncake on that day is a tradition for most of the Chinese people. For someone living overseas, they are more eager to eat mooncakes from their hometown. But this year, the mooncake export in China faces up with more strict standard set by other countries, such as the US, which restrict Chinese mooncake export.

Typical mooncakes are round or rectangular pastries, measuring about 10 cm in diameter and 4-5 cm thick. A thick filling usually made from lotus seed paste is surrounded by a relatively thin (2-3 mm) crust and may contain yolks from salted duck eggs. And many other types of fillings can be found in traditional mooncakes according to the region’s culture, for example, sweet bean paste, taro paste, jujube paste and so on.

As for import of mooncake from China, America, Canada, Spain, Australia and New Zealand all prohibited egg products in mooncake fillings. European countries have tight regulations on moon cakes with nut fillings; Japan has also added regulations about preservatives and additives used in moon cakes. France, Germany, Thailand, Sweden, Colombia, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria all prohibit the sending of moon cakes by post.

Recently, the US Food Safety and Inspection Bureau of the Department of Agriculture has mandated that food containing traces of meat, poultry and egg products need be manufactured under supervision of US food inspection authorities or trusted foreign food safety and regulation agencies before being admitted into the US. Hui Lee, a manager of a mooncake company, said: “If we make mooncake by their standard, it’s not mooncake any more. So we canceled all the orders this year.”

References:

1.Dark Side of the Moon Cake: Countries Ban Holiday Imports

2.中国月饼海外受阻 ( Export of  Chinese mooncake runs into obstacles )

3.Mooncake (from Wikipedia)