Sun, Oct 27, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Lien’s daughter denies official role in pill firm

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lee Ying-yuan, right, and DPP Taipei City Councilor Juan Chao-hsiung, at a press conference in Taipei yesterday, hold up pictures and documentation they say implicate former vice president Lien Chan’s eldest daughter in being involved in the management of a nutrition supplement company whose weight-loss pills were found to contain unapproved drugs.

Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times

Questions over what role the eldest daughter of former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) played in a nutrition supplement company whose weight-loss pills were found to contain unauthorized drugs persisted yesterday, as she denied connections with the company.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) and DPP Taipei City Councilor Juan Chao-hsiung (阮昭雄) held a joint press conference yesterday alleging that Lien Hui-hsin (連惠心) not only holds 70 percent of the company’s shares, but is also involved in its management and operation.

Lien Hui-hsin, in a written statement, yesterday dismissed allegations that she cofounded the company with Tseng Hsin-yi (曾心怡), the general manager and a major stockholder.

“I have never been involved in the company’s management. We are also searching for the truth, and I will not dodge my responsibility if there is any,” the written statement said.

Her lawyer, Fang Wen-shuan (方文萱), said Lien Hui-hsin had only agreed to promote the company for free, rather than serving as a product spokesperson.

The company’s weight-loss product—Wellslim Plus+ —was found to contain cetilistat, a lipase inhibitor that is designed to treat obesity. Taipei City’s Department of Health said the drug is still undergoing clinical trials and the Ministry of Health and Welfare has not approved its use.

Lien Hui-hsin’s brother, former Taipei EasyCard Corp chairman Sean Lien (連勝文), said that he had taken the pills on the recommendation of his sister, but she likely did not know what was in the pills.

“I don’t think my sister knows the pill contains an unauthorized drug. I feel sorry about the incident,” he said.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said celebrities should be more cautious about advertising products, adding that the city government would help consumers who had purchased the pills seek compensation from the company.

“It is a heavy responsibility representing food products or medicines. [Celebrities] should make sure the products are safe before agreeing to advertise them,” Hau said.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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