The Council of Agriculture yesterday withdrew one of the licenses of rice dealer Chyuan Shun Food Enterprise Co (泉順), manufacturer of the Shanshui Rice (山水米) brand that was found to have mislabeled its products more than once this year.
Chyuan Shun was found in August to have mixed rice imported from Vietnam with domestically grown rice, which was labeled as rice produced in Taiwan, triggering enhanced inspection on rice adulteration and labeling problems, and leading to an amendment to governing regulations.
The council’s Agriculture and Food Agency yesterday said the Operational Guidelines Governing the Penalties on Violation of the Food Administration Act (違反糧食管理法案件處分裁量作業要點) was amended on Sept. 18, so that the punishment of license withdrawal on rice dealers would not be based on the number of violations by individual products, but rather on the number of violations by a given dealer.
Agriculture and Food Agency Director Li Tsang-lang (李蒼郎) said that since the amendment was enacted in September, four of the company’s products had been found to be in violation of the Food Administration Act (糧食管理法). Based on the new regulations, the council has withdrawn the company’s rice dealer license.
Permission for selling, purchasing, storing, processing, importing and exporting rice under the name of Chyuan Shun Food Enterprise Co has been prohibited, and its rice products must be taken off shelves, Li said.
Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Bao-ji (陳保基) said the company owns more than one rice dealer license, so withdrawing one license would not force it to stop all operations, but this first case of license withdrawal demonstrates that rice dealers should not sacrifice consumers and farmers’ rights, or damage the nation’s domestic rice reputation by illegally mixing rice.