Yeh Chin-chuan takes over at Taiwan Department of Health - Taiwan News Online
Web Photos
Search Advanced   Sign in  /  Register  
russia (377)   Melamine (179)   Malaysia (86)   Hong Kong (226)   Singapore (244)   Australia (395)   Japan (526)   India (278)   Canada (110)   china (630)   thai (99)   South Korea (138)   Jangmi (52)   Philippines (75)
logo-adv Advertisement logo_adv


Orecchiette with greens are a signature dish at Antichi-Sapori in Montegresso, Puglia, Italy
Orecchiette with greens are a signature dish at Antichi-Sapori in Montegresso, Puglia, Italy
Miami Herald
Yeh Chin-chuan takes over at Taiwan Department of Health
Former presidential vice secretary-general announces zero tolerance policy to melamine
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
Page 1
2008-09-27 01:00 AM
+ Enlarge This image
Former Minister of Health Lin Fang-yue, left, hands over the official seal to new Minister Yeh Ching-chuan, right, at a ceremony held in Taipei yesterday.
Taiwan News
Former presidential vice secretary-general Yeh Chin-chuan (葉金川) took over the reins of the Department of Health yesterday and announced a return to tougher safety standards for tainted Chinese milk products.

The changes came just one day after his predecessor, Lin Fang-yue, resigned after unexpectedly relaxing the rules and allowing products to be sold with a melamine concentration of up to 2.5 parts per million.

Lin's decision touched off a wave of indignation and sealed his fate after only 129 days in office, the first member of President Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) administration to go.


Shortly after taking office yesterday, Yeh said he was returning to a zero-tolerance policy.

"There will be no figures, if there is melamine, it's not fit to be sold, if there isn't, it can be sold," Yeh said.

Only those products that have tested negative for the presence of melamine, can be on the shelves, he said, announcing the number of laboratories performing tests for melamine would be increased to 19. Taiwan will contact scientists in the United States, Japan and Europe to discuss testing, new standards, and the nature of the damage inflicted by the chemical.

Dairy products tainted with melamine, a chemical used in the manufacturing of plastics, have killed at least four children and sickened more than 50,000 in China.

Yeh is a former vice chairman of the Department of Health, and also headed Taipei City's health department. He also played a part in the fight against the SARS epidemic in 2003.


The central government's decision to loosen standards led to a revolt by local government leaders. At least nine county chiefs and city mayors refused to implement Lin's policies.

The chorus of protest expanded from mainly opposition Democratic Progressive Party strongholds in the south to county leaders from the ruling Kuomintang.

"Zero ppm is better, zero should be the norm," Nantou County chief Li Chao-ching, a KMT member, told reporters.

At the Legislative Yuan, the opposition registered its protest by wearing headbands with the words "refuse 2.5 ppm" while preventing the premier from delivering a budget speech.

In Taichung, bakers threw bread on the sidewalks, demanding a cut in business taxes to offset their loss of business.

Meanwhile the scare spread to include two more well-known brands.

The Taiwanese branch of U.S.-based Pizza Hut announced that 65,000 small plastic bags of cheese powder given out to its takeout customers had been tainted by melamine. The cheese was found to contain 76.2 ppm of the chemical, or more than 30 times the maximum level allowed by the government's short-lived relaxation, said sales and marketing manager Felisa Wu.

The origin of the melamine contamination was not immediately possible to assess because of the complicated chain of supply.

Pizza Hut bought the cheese from Creation Foods, but that company said it only acted as a go-between. A company called Pin Kao made the cheese with milk powder it had acquired through importer Poh Hsiang. Both companies said they only imported raw materials from Malaysia and Singapore.

Japanese food concern Lotte recalled its biscuits with effigies of bears in Hong Kong and Macau because they were China-made, but Lotte Taiwan Co., Ltd. spokesman Huang Hsing-san said all the product on sale on the island was made in Japan with dairy products from New Zealand and Australia.

Have Your Say :

We welcome your comments on this and other stories. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Please provide your full name and suburb/location. We also require a working e-mail address – not for publication, but for verification only.

Post your feedback
More TAIWAN News Stories
Taiwan stock market tumbles 3.55 percent   2008-10-01
U.S., Singapore, Guatemala among 14 Taiwan supporters at U.N. meet   2008-10-01
Taiwan's Health Minister pledges to confirm King Car product source   2008-10-01
Aide tries to defend Ma over 'Taiwan region' use   2008-10-01
Shih denies Radio Taiwan International drama   2008-10-01
Taiwan President Ma pays last respects to missing fighter pilot   2008-10-01
Taiwan's Premier wants China melamine apology   2008-10-01
Special China-Taiwan food safety channel to be set up, says MAC   2008-10-01
Taiwan electricity rate hike to be reviewed: premier   2008-10-01
Taiwan locally farmed fish free from melamine: Fisheries Agency   2008-10-01
China tour groups using 'mini links' arrive on Taiwan's islands   2008-10-01
U.S. credibility to be at stake if arms deal with Taiwan fails, says Taiwan's Defense minister   2008-10-01
The American Institute in Taiwan regrets artist's accusations made on his visa application   2008-10-01
In Brief   2008-10-01
Pinyin move hurts Taiwan's pluralism   2008-10-01
Formosan Naruwan Hotel & Resort presents Donghe Bridge Package   2008-10-01
Angel Art Gallery features 'Enchanting Taiwan Exhibit'   2008-10-01
HP launches the Total Care consumer service system   2008-10-01
'World Tour 2008 in Taiwan' attracts 1,400 delegates   2008-10-01
Windows Live Messenger 9.0 version launched   2008-10-01
01     02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   Next   >
To search for articles form the past seven days, Click on ARCHIVES
  7day free
Photo Gallery
Food & Life Hau Lung-bin World Society Panorama Travel Asia Business

©2008 Taiwan News