Defending Food Safety: Inspection, Accreditation, and Certification
Due to the exponential increase of food safety incidents in recent years, public criticism and distrust over government’s regulatory failure of food safety regime has rapidly multiplied in Taiwan. The crisis has been responded with the adoption of major amendments to the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation. Key points of the amendment include encouraging and supervising food industry self-regulation, building capacity for strengthened food safety management measures, and establishing the three-tier quality control system for the safety of food products. However, when bringing together all three sides─self-management by food businesses, certifications by independent institutions, and inspections by the government─in an effort to ensure food safety, the Act fails to properly clarify the roles and functions of inspection, accreditation, certification, and their complicated interactions in the food safety regulatory framework. The Act also fails to adequately address the issues concerning conflict of interest, regime enforcement, and overreliance on the government in the accreditation and certification system. In light of food safety inspection, accreditation, and certification, this article conducted a comparative analysis of food safety legal regimes in the U.S and Taiwan, and provided some suggestions for Taiwan future legal development concerning food safety.