Salt exports halted, reserved for domestic use only: Taiyen

The China Post news staff

The threat of nuclear reactor meltdown in Japan and rumors of radiation affecting sea salt have caused an increased demand for iodized salt from the Taiyen Biotech Company, which announced yesterday that it has halted all iodized salt exports as a means to preserve local supply. Taiyen Biotech Co. Chairman Hung Hsi-yao warned sternly against hoarding salt, adding that prices will remain the same. At a press conference yesterday, Hung explained how the devastation in Japan caused a global surge in demand for iodized salt and how that affects Taiwan’s salt production in particular.

Hung ordered Taiyen Biotech Co. to suspend all its overseas exports of iodized salt and to up production at the corporation’s Tongsiao Salt Factory in order to increase supply. The chairman strongly forbade any product hoarding by supply chains and stores.

Consuming Taiyen’s iodized salt is perfectly safe, Hung said, adding that the public should not panic and purchase salt of dubious origins. Doctors also warn that consuming more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day is harmful to one’s health.

Within the past two days, Taiyen Biotech Co. has received countless phone calls for orders, mostly from mainland China. With an average daily production of 400 tons of salt and local demand at 300 tons per day, the upped production at the Tongsiao factory should sustain the nation’s short-term needs, Hung said. Taiyen Biotech Co. had offered to export salt to Japan after the disaster, but Hung said it decided to focus on local needs as Japan has many salt manufacturing factories of its own. The chairman of the local salt manufactory company made the statement as supermarkets in Beijing and other Chinese cities ran out of salt on Thursday on fears over radiation leaking from Japan.