A panel discussion at the 2013 National Food Safety Meeting earlier in Dec. focused on how Chinese consumers could better be compensated if they are negatively affected by food products with mislabeled ingredients or tainted with illegal additives.
Chairing the panel, Professor Huang Li of National Chengchi University said that consumers have been put at a disadvantage when involved in food safety incidents. For instance, they are required to show invoices to claim compensation. “This means ‘no invoice, no compensation,’ in sharp contrast to big-name vendors, who are able to retrieve tens of millions of New Taiwan dollars in compensation if they suffer losses from selling falsified food products,” Huang said.
A representative of the Consumers’ Foundation at the panel discussion suggested that the government should impose large sum punitive fines on firms which violate the Food Sanitation Act so that consumers can enjoy more compensation.
Meanwhile, Tsai Hong-chih, chairman of the Changhua Medical Alliance for Public Affairs, said that a significant portion of proposed food safety funds should be used to encourage locals to report violations of the Food Sanitation Act, with cash prizes given to informants to be boosted to 30 to 50 percent of fines collected.