Taiwanese seriously concerned over food safety, survey reveals

By Ankush Chibber

- Last updated on GMT

Taiwanese seriously concerned over food safety, survey reveals

Related tags: Food safety, Food, International trade, Import

Around 80% of Taiwan's citizens are concerned about food safety problems in the wake of recent scandals, according to the results of a survey released this week.

According to the report, which was carried out by market research firm TNS, 80% of respondents said they worried that food products might contain harmful ingredients.

In addition, 79% respondents expressed worry that the contents of food would be different to what is listed on the labels, while 78% said that their concern was that they might be sold food products that have gone bad.

The survey comes in the wake of some scandals that have scarred the country’s food safety record.

Year of strife

In the middle of this year, the discovery of meleic acid in some domestic and exported starch products saw three of the country’s biggest food makers remove a number of their products from supermarkets for almost a month.

This was preceded by a beef imports scare where the country’s health regulators had found growth drugs in samples imported from countries like the US, Canada, panama and Australia.

In 2011, Taiwan's health department had revealed it had found a food additive company to have illegally added DEHP in clouding agents and sold them to a number of food and beverage makers—prompting a number of countries to place a ban on the import of Taiwanese food imports.

DEHP [a commonly used abbreviation for Bis(2­ethylhexyl)phthalate] is a plasticiser that has been found to cause hormonal malfunctions in children if consumed in large doses.

The survey was part of a wider study of the Asia-Pacific region conducted by TNS to gain an understanding of the views of people in the region on personal health, their concerns over health issues and their expectations for healthy lifestyles.

AIA GROUP, an insurance provider, commissioned the study, which covered 10,245 respondents in 15 markets across the Asia-Pacific region.

Related topics: Markets, Food safety, South Asia

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