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Luis Ko: Clean food increasingly hard to come by
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2012-09-17 09:43 AM
A Taiwanese entrepreneur on Saturday warned that more attention has to be given to food safety because of the growing difficulties in obtaining clean ingredients in an increasingly polluted world.

Luis Ko, president of Taiwan’s I-Mei Foods Co. Ltd., told a Cultural Night gathering in southern California that consumers will face many food safety dilemmas in the future.

With the world’s population growing fast and food shortages becoming a problem, Ko predicted that genetically modified produce will swarm the market and the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers will only become more prevalent.

That will leave consumers highly dependent on food testing because these harmful substances cannot be seen by the naked eye, Ko said.

He also foresaw a world in which food markets will be dominated by big corporations and consumers will have a hard time obtaining food safety information.

“Eventually, food products will be produced, processed and manufactured in cross-national farms and factories, with the history of each food item hard to track or even becoming impossible to confirm,” he warned.

Ko pointed out that people are on the go and eating out more these days. Unfortunately this means less control over each meal. You may not know whether what you are eating complies with regulations, or whether the ingredients and how much you take in is really needed by your body. In addition, with global environmental pollution becoming an increasingly serious problem, it is becoming more difficult to find ingredients that are clean and safe, and the increased risk factors are not easy to detect, much less avoid.

Moreover, as food production becomes gradually more transnational in nature, with processing and manufacturing taking places at centralized places that may be far from the consumer, the food safety trail will become more difficult to track, and it will be practically impossible to verify the safety and nutrition of what people are eating.

Ko made his remarks in a keynote speech to the gathering hosted by the Taiwanese United Fund (TUF) in the City of Industry.

The theme of the event was “Made in Taiwan -- Food, Ecology and Technology” -- a theme that fits Ko’s background. In addition to being a leading figure in Taiwan’s food industry, he is also an advocate of living a green lifestyle.

Ko also serves as the CEO of the I-Mei Environmental Protection Foundation and the director general of the Association of Taiwan Digital Publishing Alliances.

In 2011, Ko was named as one of the “Top 100 Most Valuable Taiwanese Managers” by Manager Magazine for his high principles and contributions to the food industry.

The Taiwanese United Fund (TUF), which came into being in 1986, aims to facilitate cultural exchanges among Taiwanese, Taiwanese Americans and American communities.

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