The government is expected to launch an investigation into 10 imported Chinese beer brands to see if they violate the law by containing cancer-causing methanol, said Liu Teng-cheng (劉燈城), director-general of the treasury department under the Ministry of Finance.
"If the China-brewed beers test methanol-positive, their distributors will be subject to trial and sales will be immediately banned," Liu told a press conference yesterday afternoon.
Liu said distributors whose beer imports are proven to be methanol-positive may face a jail term of up to one year or a fine of between NT$300,000 to NT$1 million.
The 10 beers are Tsingtao Beer (青島啤酒), Jinwei Beer (金威啤酒), Blue Belt Beer (藍貝啤酒), Yanjing Beer (燕京啤酒), Chongqing Beer (重慶啤酒), Yantei Beer (煙台啤酒), Zhonghua Beer (中華啤酒), Huiquan Beer (惠全啤酒), Jinchi Beer (金匙啤酒) and Boss Beer.
Health authorities expect to finish collecting the beer samples today. They have also requested distributors provide them with details of the beers' brewing process.
The test results will be available in a week, said Chen Lu-hung (
Liu said Chinese beers held a 9 percent market share in the first five months this year.