Sat, Aug 04, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Father, son charged in rotten egg scandal

STANDARDS IGNORED:Prosecutors asked the court to hand out a heavy sentence as Lee Chun-ming was not remorseful during questioning, the head prosecutor said

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Taoyuan prosecutors yesterday indicted a father and son, for contravening the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法), after their involvement in the rotten egg scandal earlier this year, with investigators saying the company had contravened the regulations since 2010.

The indictment came against Lee Chun-ming (李春明), 57, owner of Taoyuan-based CJ-Taian Co (萇記泰安), which was reportedly the nation’s second-largest egg supplier, and his son, Lee Chih-yao (李智堯), who is the owner of Tai Ding Shan Co (泰頂山公司) in Tainan.

The Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office conducted raids in January and alleged that the two companies had supplied spoiled eggs and contaminated liquid egg products to food manufacturers, hypermarts and grocery stores.

Prosecutors reported finding eggs with dirty and broken shells, moldy and rancid eggs, and some contaminated with insects and microbial growth at the companies’ production facilities and warehouses.

Investigators said evidence showed that the firms mixed unsold and expired eggs returned from stores with fresh eggs and instructed employees to put the mixture in plastic containers with incorrect expiration dates.

Investigators said the contraventions had been ongoing since 2010 and the two firms had made illegal profits of about NT$64.43 million (US$2.1 million) since that time.

“The Lees were only concerned with profits, as they ignored food safety and hygiene standards, and also ignored damage to the health of consumers,” Taoyuan head prosecutor Lin Hsiu-min (林秀敏) said of the indictment.

“They argued that their operations were standard practice in the industry and the products were edible with no ill health effects,” Lin said. “Lee Chun-ming showed no remorse under questioning and gave conflicting accounts in his testimony, therefore we asked the court to hand out a heavy punishment.”

Seven employees summoned in the investigation were indicted, although Lin said they worked for relatively low wages and did not profit from the companies’ actions.

“The seven employees admitted wrongdoing and cooperated with the investigation, therefore the court is asked to grant them lenient sentences,” Lin said.

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