A Greater Tainan-based dairy corporation was allegedly found to have manufactured dairy products with moldy milk powder or milk powder intended for animal feed, with about 10 tonnes of the questionable products estimated to have reached the market, prosecutors said yesterday.
Five Tainan prosecutors on Tuesday led agents from the law enforcement and the Coast Guard Administration in a raid targeting Guanxin Food Industrial Co in Tainan’s Yongkang District (永康) and other companies associated with it on suspicion of producing tainted dairy products.
Several proprietors, factory managers and salespeople allegedly involved in the case were brought in for questioning, with a total of 788 packages, or 19 tonnes, of alleged problem dairy powder seized on the spot.
The food company, which was founded in 1992, claimed its dairy products were of premium quality and had been certified by both the Council of Agriculture (COA) and the Good Manufacturing Practice.
However, the task force responsible for the raid said that the owner of the Guanxin company, Yang Li-chin (楊麗琴), and its factory director, Chen Tung-chou (陳東洲), had allegedly been purchasing expired, spoiled and animal-use milk powder through salesman Chang Che-cheng (張哲誠) as manufacturing materials as early as 2009.
These tainted ingredients were mixed with ordinary milk powder in the production of the company’s dairy products, including goat’s milk and flavored milk, the task force said, adding that most of it had been sold to breakfast restaurants and smaller-sized food companies across the country.
In addition to Guanxin, Chang was also found to have allegedly sold a large quantity of milk powder meant for animal-use, which were returned by several food companies last year, to a few biotechnology and food corporations based in Yunlin County for manufacturing milk powder for children and for coffee beverages, investigators said.
Most of these products were distributed to breakfast shops and vending machines on university campuses, they added.
The court ruled that Yang and Chen be released on NT$1 million (US$33,344) and NT$200,000 bail respectively. Chang was also released on NT$200,000 bail.
COA’s Department of Animal Industry chief Chen Chung-hsing (陳中興) said that because the goat milk products the Guanxin company manufactured bore the Certified Agricultural Standard and the Good Goat’s Milk approval labels, the council would discipline the responsible parties if the company was found guilty of any wrongdoing.