New GMP certification to commence from April in Taiwan

The Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has rolled out a new Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification process to be effective on April 1 to ensure food safety in the future. The new GMP certification process will expand the scope of inspections of goods manufactured from one single production line to those manufactured from all similar production lines. In addition, in an effort to ensure the quality of finished food products, officials will require registry of companies that provide source materials.

IDB will also watch how the GMP sign is posted in stores. Some shops post the sign although not all of their products are GMP compliant which is misleading for the consumers. In the future, the IDB will ensure that only shops that have all their products certified may post the GMP sign. For those that have some of their products certified, the GMP sign may only be printed on products that have been certified. Moreover, merchants need to apply to the MOEA and be approved before they can use the GMP sign. Shops and companies that already use the GMP sign have until the end of this year to make sure all related regulations are properly followed.

In view to the contaminated oil incident last year, a standard procedure to ensure food safety properly was lacking. By the new GMP certification process problems of a similar nature will not occur again. Tatung Changchi Foodstuff Co. was accused last year for adding prohibited additive sodium copper chlorophyllin to their oil products. Up to 1,257, 3,037 and 4,571 metric tons of low quality cottonseed oils was imported in 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively. Despite the huge volume, the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) failed to make proper inspection, and the low quality cottonseed ended up in finished oil products.