Taipei, Nov. 1 (CNA) South Korea
n authorities have not stepped up their inspection of tilapia imported from Taiwan or banned the import of the fish as a result of a negative local news report, a Taiwan diplomat based in Seoul said Friday. The official working for Taiwan's representative office in Seoul said he has received assurance from the South Korea
n government agency responsible for inspecting imported agricultural and fishery products. The official, who preferred not to be named, also went to the headquarters of Channel A, which depicted in a recent program Taiwan's tilapia farms as highly polluted and insinuated that there was an overuse of antibiotics in raising the fish. The producer of the program, called Food X Files, agreed to convey the Taiwanese diplomat's complaints to his superiors and suggested the channel could present the position of Taiwan's tilapia farmers in their next show. During the visit, the diplomat told the producer that the episode on Taiwan's tilapia has seriously damaged the business interest of fish farmers in Taiwan. He demanded a correction. Earlier in Taiwan, the government expressed concern over the news program and also asked for a correction.
"Taiwan tilapia is a high-quality aquatic product, and the MOFA is greatly concerned about the news report," Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokeswoman Anna Kao said. According to statistics from the Taiwan Tilapia Alliance, South Korea is the primary overseas market for Taiwan tilapia. In 2012, Taiwan exported 1,940 metric tons of the fish to South Korea, accounting for 48 percent of total exports that year.
(By Jiang Yuan-chen and Jay Chen)