Food safety requires effective and closely coordinated control from farm to table. Since its establishment in December 2016, the EPA’s Toxic and Chemical Substances Bureau (TCSB) has been working with the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) and Council of Agriculture (COA) to jointly safeguard the food production environment. From the environment and the chemical material industry at the source of the food chain, the agricultural and aquatic products at the production stage, to the products for sale at the market end, the TCSB and its partners endeavor to protect producers’ rights and consumers’ health from farm to table.
The three agencies jointly hold quarterly Environmental Protection and Food Safety Coordination Meetings, co-presided by the deputy ministers, to discuss up-to-date environmental protection and food safety information. The meetings would decide on what measures to implement in advance in the environmental aspect and what high-risk areas to continue to monitor. Any possible contamination risks found in the environment, agricultural and aquatic products, or food production links will be immediately reported to all three agencies, which will then jointly conduct monitoring, tracing, and sampling, or take emergency measures to ensure safety of food and the food production environment.
Concerning at-source control of chemical substances with potential food safety risks, the EPA had finished inspecting and assisting over 3,000 chemical material enterprises between 2017 and 2020, helping them achieve self-management. Inspection and assistance have also been conducted jointly with other ministries for traditional holiday-related projects. For instance, there was a joint inspection in 2020 targeting 124 chemical material enterprises that sold food additives with high food safety risks.
Twenty chemical substances with potential food safety risks, including rhodamine B and Sudan Red G, have been announced as Class 4 toxic chemical substances. The purpose was to increase the responsibility of upstream enterprises that handle chemical substances with high risk to food safety and further prevent these substances from entering the food production chain. In addition, the Toxic and Concerned Chemical Substances Control Act (毒性及關注化學物質管理法), revised and announced on 16 January 2019 by the EPA, has been added with a special chapter on “Concerned Chemical Substances”. The EPA will continue to evaluate concerned chemical substances with food safety risks for future control.
To protect citizens’ health from farm to table, the EPA emphasized that cross-ministerial cooperation will continue in 2021 to strengthen management in all links of the food production chain and avoid food contamination in the production process.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, Feb 2021
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)