None of the first batch of samples of Ting Hsin Oil and Fat Industrial Co’s (頂新製油實業) cooking oils were found to contain an excessive level of dioxin, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said yesterday.
FDA interim director-general Chiang Yu-mei (姜郁美) told an afternoon news conference that the first batch of oil samples tested for the toxic chemical included seven samples of Ting Hsin Oil’s lard and beef tallow imported from Vietnam, two lard samples from Ting Hsin Oil’s suppliers and a lard sample from Cheng I Food Co (正義股份).
“We received the results at about noon. They showed that the dioxin presence in all the samples were within the nation’s maximum permissible levels, which are 1 per gram of fat [pg WHO-TEQ/g] for lard and 2.5pg WHO-TEQ/g for beef tallow,” Chiang said.
The lard samples contained dioxin at levels ranging from 0.087 to 0.637pg WHO-TEQ/g, while the concentration of the toxic chemical in the beef tallow ranged from 0.218 to 0.863pg WHO-TEQ/g, he said.
The test results came less than a week after the agency was strongly criticized for an 11-day delay in sending the samples of Ting Hsin Oil’s cooking oils imported from Vietnam — which according to a tip might have been contaminated with the Agent Orange herbicide — for dioxin screening.
The agency received seven samples of Ting Hsin Oil’s Vietnamese lard and beef tallow and five samples of the company’s coconut oil and beef tallow from Australia from the Changhua District Prosecutors’ Office on Oct. 24 and Oct. 25 respectively.
It did not forward the samples to a special laboratory at National Cheng Kung University until Monday and Tuesday last week respectively.
The FDA had previously said it did not expect the test results for at least two weeks, so it appears the lab put a rush on the tests.
Chiang said more oil samples are still being tested, but it is not known when the results will be released.
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