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2017 EU-Taiwan Food Safety Seminar

Taipei, 21 June 2017 - The European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) – under the framework of the European Business and Regulatory Cooperation (EBRC) programme – co-hosted the "2017 EU-Taiwan Food Safety Seminar" with the European Union Centre in Taiwan (EUTW), National Applied Research Laboratories (NARL), the Food Safety Center, National Taiwan University, and the EU Centre of Excellence, National Taiwan University. The event gathered 140 participants from Europe and Taiwan, which included regulators, representatives of central and local governments and business to discuss in depth food traceability systems and how the EU has adopted systematic tracking methods to effectively support EU Member States in addressing food safety issues, such as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) control and management.

Ms Viktoria Lövenberg, Deputy Head of the European Economic and Trade office (EETO), and Dr SU Hung-dah (蘇宏達), Director–General of the European Union Centre in Taiwan, delivered opening remarks at the seminar.

In her remarks Ms Viktoria Lövenberg pointed out that ensuring a high level of protection of human health and animal welfare in relation to food is a key objective of global food trade. She added that Taiwan and the EU are both members of the World Trade Organisation and that the WTO's SPS Agreement – the EU and Taiwan's common global trade framework – sets out clearly the principles for food-related legislation: the requirement of science-based rules that have minimum negative trade effects, adherence to principles of regionalisation and international standards and transparency of rules and procedures. Ms Lövenberg stressed that in the EU, food safety is indispensable to the functioning of the internal market. "The open market, providing access to over 500 millions of consumers in 28 countries allows no compromise of safety and requires a high level of protection and solid controls at all levels of the food chain, from farm to the fork," she said. She went on to highlight that fact that there is already significant bilateral trade in food products between the EU and Taiwan, both in terms of trade value and variety of products and that in recent years, there has been rising interest from the Taiwanese consumers towards European food products, indicating that this is clearly an area with strong growth potential.

The first session of the seminar focused on EU regulations and food trade. Two European experts gave presentations in the session. Mr Stéphane ANDRE, Policy Officer, in the European Commission's Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), presented measures to prevent, control and eradiate BSE in the EU. Mr Wolf-Martin MAIER, Policy Officer in the European Commission's Directorate General for Trade (DG TRADE), gave a presentation on the single market and global trade, focusing on the European Commission's oversight to guarantee sanitary and phytosanitary conditions. The session was followed by a fruitful Q&A session.

In the second session, Taiwanese experts talked about food traceability systems and the issues and challenges in Taiwan. Dr CHENG Wei-Chih (鄭維智) from the Food and Drug Administration under the Ministry of Health and Welfare, talked about food safety traceability management in Taiwan, including case studies and practice. Dr Lucy SUN HWANG (孫璐西), Professor Emeritus from the Graduate Institute of Food Science and Technology at National Taiwan University, gave a presentation about food safety issues and challenges in Taiwan. The session was followed by an interactive and lively Q&A session.