Since the late 1990s, betel nuts became the second largest selling crop in Taiwan after rice. The betel nut industry in Taiwan is worth about $1 billion USD and grows about 140,000 tons per year.2 A reason that led to the success of the betel nut industry in Taiwan is the lack of regulations under the Nationalists administration since 1949, which helped turn betel nuts into a cash crop. For a long time, there were no laws or taxes placed on farming or selling betel nut, thus earning its nickname as “green gold.”3 As the betel nuts are sold fresh and must be processed within 48 hours of picking, there are no barriers between the wholesalers and the vendors.4 So far, aside from the betel nut girls, the wholesale marketing of betel nuts is practically free from corporate influence and governmental regulation.5 In addition, due to the lax regulation on betel nut farming, more people began to exploit the lands to create more betel nut farms and as a result, it has brought attention to a number of environmental issues, such as soil erosion and flooding.6_______________________
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