US firm applies to export GM potatoes to Taiwan

A US firm has applied to export genetically modified (GM) potatoes into Taiwan. The application is being reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration. Taiwan has allowed imports of raw food materials in five categories, namely soybean, corn, cotton, canola and sugar beet. That was made possible when the government lifted a ban on imports of GM raw foods in 2002.

Deputy agriculture minister Chen Chi-chung said Tuesday however that farmers are not allowed to grow GM crops locally.

"We do not allow GM potatoes of any kind to be grown locally. I think this is part of the policy which is reported through our Office of Food Safety," Chen said. "It is a very important policy that crosses departments. At the end of July and December 2015, we emphasized the requirement that all packaged GM products and GM products in bulk must be labelled clearly."

Chen said the requirement to label food products made from imported materials allows consumers the right to choose. He said any farmers found growing GM produce will have their crops destroyed.

Source: Radio Taiwan International