Share this

Sep 30, 2008

More on milk powder scandal

As Talking Show pointed out last night, what was the point of sending this team of experts from Taiwan to China to talk about the milk powder scandal?

Here were the main results of the meeting, via the China Post:

Public health and food safety inspection officials from Taiwan have reached agreement with their counterparts in China to set up a mechanism for close monitoring, information exchanges and emergency responses by specially designated teams of staff, he said.

Yeh said government agencies and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), which handles direct dealing of cross-Taiwan Strait affairs with Beijing in the absence of formal ties, will work together with counterpart parties to ensure that consumers and enterprises here will not be affected by unsafe products.

Public health and food safety will be at the top of the agenda for upcoming talks in Taipei between the SEF and the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS). ...

During the three-day visit to Beijing, the Taiwan delegation compiled a lot of data on the proliferation in China of melamine-tainted dairy products and food ingredients, some of which were imported into Taiwan.

The team also gained knowledge of how Chinese authorities handled the building furor over the adulterated milk powder, which killed at least four infants and sickened 53,000 in China, he added.

The SEF officials said any requests Taiwan makes for compensation to cover losses caused by the toxic Chinese imports will be handled through negotiations between the SEF and its Chinese counterpart, the ARATS.

The question Talking Show has is, why would the government be dumb enough to count on the Chinese being transparent about their food situation when a much more dependable method would be for the Taiwan government to actually bother testing imported Chinese food goods with a higher regularity? The US has tested 1,000 incoming milk-product shipments this year; Taiwan tested zero before news of the scandal broke.

Why are the latest reports of poisoned chocolate being treated with deference to Beijing -- why wait for China to tell you something is wrong when others have found serious problems and you should clearly be doing testing and preparing to do recalls?

They're also wondering why on earth compensation should be handled through SEF and ARATS rather than say, the courts or some channel not subject entirely to Beijing's good will.

No comments: