The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday said it will demand compensation from manufacturers that supplied adulterated cooking oil to the military and file a criminal complaint against them.
Ministry official Shih Wu-chiao (施武樵) said tests of oil supplied to military commissaries revealed that several products were substandard, including sunflower oils produced by Chang Chi Foodstuff Factory Co, the company at the heart of a scandal involving tainted oils.
Shih said the ministry would seek compensation from manufacturers for the substandard products, in accordance with procurement contracts, and file a criminal complaint against them with the Changhua District Prosecutors’ Office.
Colonel Shen Yau-guo (沈耀國), the head of the ministry’s commissary, the General Welfare Service, said the ministry plans to revise the penalty clauses in procurement contracts it signs with suppliers in the future.
Instead of imposing a fine on an offending manufacturer equal to 20 percent of its substandard product’s sales over the previous 30 days, the fine may be increased to the product’s sales over the previous 180 days, Shen said.
The General Welfare Service has received more than 20,000 items from various military units worth NT$3.54 million (US$119,730) since the news surfaced that Chang Chi had adulterated and used banned additives in its oils, Shen said.
Most of the returned products were from Formosa Oilseed Processing Co, Wei Chuan Foods Corp and noodle producers Sing Lin Foods Co and Chang Chi.
Meanwhile, several major edible oil distributors in China filed a cross-border civil suit against Chang Chi in Changhua District Court through their Taiwanese lawyer yesterday, demanding more than NT$5 million compensation.
Of that, NT$1.86 million is to cover inventory losses, while NT$3.4 million is to compensate the firms for the damage done to their reputations, said Tsai Wen-pin (蔡文彬), who is representing the companies based in Xiamen, China.
The companies have purchased about NT$10 million in cooking oil from Chang Chi over the past year and recalled the products after the scandal broke in the middle of last month.