As a response to criticism over inadequate food and drug oversight, the Taiwanese Cabinet approved the creation of the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) on November 20, 2008. The approved draft will be sent to the Taiwanese legislature. If approved in this legislative session, the TFDA should be functional as early as 2009.
The TFDA would essentially be a combination of several bureaus currently under the Taiwanese Department of Health (DOH). It would combine the Bureau of Food Safety, the Bureau of Pharmaceutical Affairs, the Bureau of Food and Drug Analysis, and the Bureau of Controlled Drugs. Integrating pharmaceutical and food safety management, the new administration would be responsible for increasing food and drug safety as well as developing biotechnology research and industry.
The TFDA is expected to open five main inspection facilities and have personnel inspect food and drug products in major airports and seaports. The expansion will allow the administration to respond more efficiently in the case of a food or drug safety crisis. To cover all of these duties, the TFDA will recruit about 180 more people in addition to the current employees of the four DOH bureaus, bringing the total up to almost 600 employees, including inspectors, experts, and researchers.