Economics Ministry defends credibility of GMP certification


TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Ministry of Economic Affairs assured the public yesterday of the reliability of Taiwan’s Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) audits, saying that the certification helps ensure food safety.

The credibility of the GMP certificates came under the spotlight as the Taiwan Food GMP Development Association revoked certificates it issued to a local edible oil factory’s 17 products for false advertising, two days after a raid by prosecutors and health officials.

The company is believed to have added cheaper oils and copper chlorophyllin — an edible coloring agent barred from use in cooking oils in Taiwan — to its oil products and may have also misrepresented several of its products as being something they weren’t.

The products the association issued certificates to contained no harmful ingredients, according to Camelia Chen, an official at the ministry’s Industrial Development Bureau.

The certificates were later revoked, however, because the products were not as pure as advertised, she said, citing some products that the makers claimed were comprised of 40 percent sunflower oil, but which actually contained 20 percentof other cheaper types of oil.

GMP regulations are strict and all testing is conducted according to the law, Chen said.