Taiwan bans GMO foods from school lunches

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.



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