Thu, Nov 15, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Importer used fake decals to sell Japanese scallops

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Sheng-yang Co (昇洋行), a Kaohsiung-based food importer, was found to have counterfeited Japanese food safety certification decals and used them to sell scallops imported from Japan at higher prices, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said yesterday.

The FDA and the Kaohsiung Department of Health cooperated with the Pingtung District Prosecutors’ Office and the National Police Agency’s Seventh Special Corps to crack down on the company.

The firm was found to have counterfeited scallop packaging boxes used by a Japanese seafood company based in Hokkaido Prefecture as well as a Japanese food safety certification decal, the FDA said.

It repackaged scallops imported from other Japanese seafood companies, selling them at higher prices in the counterfeit boxes, it said.

A total of 6,490kg of scallop products with counterfeit certification stickers were found in the company’s warehouse and were seized by the corps, it added.

FDA Southern Center section chief Lu Yun-ju (呂昀儒) said the agency late last year received a report from the Taipei Economic and Culture Representative Office in Japan’s Sapporo Branch about suspected illegal behavior by the company and informed local a fisheries association to keep an eye on counterfeit imported products.

The counterfeit decals differ from genuine stickers in that the latter have an anti-counterfeiting mark printed on the back, Lu said.

The center discovered that the material and color of the counterfeit packages were also somewhat different than the genuine ones, she added.

Although the scallops were imported from Japanese companies different from the one declared at customs, they have passed border inspections for import, so they are unlikely to raise food safety concerns, Lu said.

The FDA said the company has contravened the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法) and the Criminal Code by using false packaging and fake certification decals, which is punishable by a fine of between NT$40,000 and NT$4 million (US$1,293 and US$129,351).

The company is also suspected of allegedly defrauding consumers and the prosecutors are investigating the case, it said.

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