Taiwan Revamps Label Laws

New rules in Taiwan require vegetarian foods to be labeled properly.

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Sometimes an ambiguous “for vegetarians” label can leave one questioning a food’s real content, Taiwan’s Department of Health has noticed. Starting July 1, ambiguity will be transformed into certainty with the newly required specific labeling. All packaged food in Taiwan must be labeled with one of five specific vegetarian categories, detailing all ingredients. Defined by the DOH, the five groups are “vegan,” “ovo-lacto vegetarian,” “ovo-vegetarian,” “lacto-vegetarian diet,” and “Wu Shin vegetarian diet,” which includes scallion, garlic, onion, leek, and hing, a spice traditionally used in Indian cooking. If products are found without proper labeling, companies can be fined anywhere from NT$30,000 ($913.58 US) to NT$150,000 ($4,567.91).