An affidavit guaranteeing that the list of ingredients on edible oil products’ labels is accurate, which health authorities required manufacturers to provide before Thursday last week, is said to have failed to achieve what it was intended to do, as at least 10 of the 11 companies found to have adulterated their products had signed the affidavit.
The 10 companies that are subject to fraud inquiries include listed companies Formosa Oilseed Processing Co and Ting Hsin International Group, which both provided the guarantee, but were found to have used Chang Chi Foodstuff Factory Co’s adulterated oil.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Acting Director-General Shiu Ming-neng yesterday morning said that Ting Hsin’s factory in Pingtung County did not sign the affidavit.
However, its factory in Changhua County and Wei Chuan Food Corp, a subsidiary of Ting Hsin that has its oil products manufactured at Ting Hsin’s Pingtung factory, did.
The confusion led Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wu Yu-jen (吳育仁) to question the effectiveness of the affidavit in a legislative plenary session, when “the upstream signs with the downstream unaware of it [and vice versa].”
Shiu said that providing the affidavits was “voluntary” and allowed the companies to show that they were “self-regulated and honest,” adding that he did not expect the firms to be dishonest.
KMT Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏) called the food companies that lied on their affidavits “degenerate” and said that they cannot be trusted with self-regulation. She called for legal action to ensure that food manufacturers have their materials examined routinely.
Shiu, who is also the vice minister of health and welfare, agreed and said that the ministry aims to revise the rules to require food manufacturers to provide raw material samples for testing or to have them sent to a third-party laboratory on a regular basis.
The Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certificate, which was also intended as a guarantee of quality, was also criticized yesterday in the session, with lawmakers calling the certificates into question as Chang Chi, Formosa Oilseed and Ting Hsin (Wei Chuan) all had GMP certificates for their oil products or factories.
It was also revealed yesterday that Wei Chuan chairman Wei Ying-chun (魏應充) is the president of the Taiwan Food GMP Development Association.
Wei, before it was discovered that Wei Chuan had been using Chang Chi’s adulterated oil, said that the GMP system depends on the honesty of the firms participating and it is not effective against those inclined to fraud.
Concerning the copper chlorophyllin that was added to Chang Chi’s edible oil, the FDA reiterated that the substance is not “toxic” as it is widely added to candies or gums, but said that it would continue its investigation into where the imported copper chlorophyllin has gone.
Admitting that he has no information on whether it is produced domestically, Shiu said: “To our current knowledge, there are four importers in the country and we will figure out whether the substance has been sold to oil manufacturers."
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
SOUTH WINDS: Taiwan’s southeastern region, as well as central and southern regions, would see regional showers and thundershowers, the Central Weather Bureau said Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the afternoon in the next two days might cause damage in affected areas, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday, urging people to stay vigilant. With the weakening of a Pacific high-pressure system and with a frontal system in the north moving south, the nation would come under the influence of southwest and south winds today, the bureau said. People in the nation’s southeastern region, as well as in central and southern Taiwan, are likely to experience regional showers or thundershowers, it said. Chances of afternoon thundershowers are high nationwide, and people in some regions