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Fines for rice adulteration may increase dramatically

TAIPEI -- Lawmakers began a review yesterday of a bill that would raise the penalties 20-fold for mislabeling, adulteration and false advertising involving rice products.

The proposed amendment to the Food Administration Act would increase the maximum fine for the offenses from the current NT$200,000 (US$6,599) to NT$4 million.

In addition, the maximum fine for manufacturers who refuse an inspection by authorities or fail to disclose their contact information would be hiked from the current NT$150,000 to NT$3 million.

Agriculture Minister Chen Bao-ji explained that the proposed changes are aimed at preventing manufacturers from blending cheaper imports with domestic rice and passing the products off as purely domestic.

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