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May, 28, 2016

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GM foods banned from school menus

TAIPEI, Taiwan--Schools nationwide are prohibited from providing genetically modified foods to students, according to the latest bill passed by the Legislature on Monday.

According to the Ministry of Education (MOE, 教育部), the new regulations would take effect next semester at the earliest, and students would likely be seeing a price hike of around NT$5 per meal.

The latest amendments to the School Health Act (學校衛生法) are aimed at all school meal providers, to ban genetically modified raw ingredients and any processed foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from school menus.

The ban would affect the selection of ingredients often used in school lunches in the past, including soybeans, corn, salmon, tofu, and soymilk.

The new law would apply to cafeterias and food stands in high, middle and elementary schools, said a ministry official.

Government subsidies for underprivileged students' school meals are expected to increase approximately NT$235.8 million per year, when calculated from a NT$5 price hike for 262,000 people, said the official.

When asked what the punishment would be for violating the new laws, the official said there are no stated penalties at present, but the MOE will ask the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW, 衛福部) to provide guidelines for schools and food suppliers to follow.

Random Spot-checks

Authorities would have to conduct random inspections of 30 percent of all school lunches in the country, at least once per year, in order to ensure the hygiene of cafeterias and kitchens, according to the new laws.

Also, a new regulation requires a quarter of seats at "school lunch committees" to go to parents of registered students at the school, so parents would have sufficient opportunities for providing feedback.

Also, the MOHW stated all restaurants will be required to display GMO labels, starting the end of this year.

Anti-GMO Movement

Legislator Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬), an advocate for passing the bill, said that studies abroad have shown a high connection between the consumption of GM foods and the prevalence of allergies, autism and rare diseases.

"Soy is a major ingredient in Taiwan's school lunches," said Lin. "Genetically modified soy has been shown to contains toxic residue from pesticides."

Thought the amendment has been passed, it would need the support of education, health and agriculture ministries to ensure the bill is implemented on every level, stressed Lin.

Recounting how school meals went into the spotlight of public attention, Lin said it was a bottom-up process, starting with Homemakers United Foundation's (主婦聯盟基金會) attempt to raise awareness on the issue. Later, agricultural associations and local governments joined in the movement.

"The passing of this bill not only means our children will be eating more safely, but it also indicates a heightened understanding of food safety in our society," said legislator Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕).

December 15, 2015    boogurtwang@
Was there scientific, peer reviewed proof presented of ANY instance of GMO foods having a harmful effect on the human system?

Show the proof.
December 23, 2015    Theoldtechnite@
Huh, which studies? Seralini's, whose his own country's academies of sciences rejected?
January 2, 2016    KUASTAR@
Theoldtechnite@ wrote:
Huh, which studies? Seralini's, whose his own country's academies of sciences rejected?
Seralini has been vindicated and has won an anti-defamation lawsuit. His country did not attack him, the mutation industry attacked him. His conclusions were correct. Get up on your research. Just like garbage, old news smells.
January 2, 2016    kuastar@
boogurtwang@ wrote:
Was there scientific, peer reviewed proof presented of ANY instance of GMO foods having a harmful effect on the human system?

Show the proof.
Mr. Disingenuity AKA boogurtwang: "Show the proof" Why? No one here works for you. Damning evidence of the myriad harms wrought globally by chemical companies to mutate, patent and monopolize the world's food supply is ALL OVER THE WEB and has been for years. Sorry there's only 2 choices for you: shill or imbecile.
January 7, 2016    brian.pike@
boogurtwang@ wrote:
Was there scientific, peer reviewed proof presented of ANY instance of GMO foods having a harmful effect on the human system?

Show the proof.
Shut up with that ridiculous industry nonsense "peer reviewed" propaganda speak. You wouldn't accept all the research showing those criminal corporations if it was presented to you in videos and courts for a month. Argentina's children are being struck down with cancer and disease from the Biotech criminals unspeakable crimes. If you want to poison children, you and your Monsanto masters should have a court order to stay away from them.
January 8, 2016    boogurtwang@
"kuastar" & "brian.pike", quite an interesting, and childish pair of responses to a simple request for FACTS to back-up the assertions re: GMO food products and/or ingredients.
Now scuttle back to your basement rooms and leave the decision making to the adults.
January 9, 2016    brian.pike@
boogurtwang@ wrote:
"kuastar" & "brian.pike", quite an interesting, and childish pair of responses to a simple request for FACTS to back-up the assertions re: GMO food products and/or ingredients.
Now scuttle back to your basement rooms and leave the decision making to the adults.
Are you pretending to be an authority who has possession of all the "facts"? Just dismiss everyone is the tactic, that makes you sound legitimate as a Monsanto propagandist? Not a chance.
January 9, 2016    kuastar@
Are you all they can afford !? I understand the entire agri-chemical / biotech industry conglomerate is finally going down, visibly. That must be why they're laying off their more sophisticated (expensive) web trolls like Kevin Folta who's outed anyway.
January 17, 2016    buybuypaula@
It's not so much that GMO's cause harm; they can be more heavily sprayed with herbicides/pesticides without harm to the plant. The GM plants are modified to tolerate Monsanto's chemicals, but the human body is not. Reject GMO foods or give up your kidneys.
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