Taiwan GDP growth misses estimates after food safety concerns

Taiwan’s economy grew at a slower pace than expected last quarter as concern over food safety damped spending at restaurants.

taiwan.cooking.oil.oct.14Gross domestic product rose 3.78 percent from a year earlier in the three months through September, according to the statistics bureau’s preliminary data released today, compared with the median 3.9 percent estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists and 3.74 percent growth in the previous period.

The discovery of tainted oil in local food has prompted Taiwanese firms including Wei Chuan Foods Corp. to recall products and Japan and China to ban food imports from the island. 

Trust but verify: are food safety issues behind China?

The China Post writes that the issue of food safety has once again been put under the spotlight due to the contaminated oil case, a familiar attitude and approach to dealing with the problem can be detected in the government. The question is whether the same measures are likely to be effective this time.

cooking-oil_1705312cAfter more food companies, including well-known food manufacturers, were reported to have used the polluted oil, the government called for a meeting to be held between central and local health departments within 24 hours to deliberate a plan to solve the problem. In addition, they also started thorough investigations to check the purchasing details.

This situation brings up the question of why such problems have happened again less than a year after the previous incident. Especially as the government promised to protect consumers’ rights and guarantee food safety through various methods. Why is the health of citizens once again being threatened by polluted oil?

It would appear that a great deal more government and corporate determination is needed to actually put plans into practice and solve the problem as soon as is practically possible.