Inspectors from the Council of Agriculture (COA) yesterday conducted spot-checks of edible oil companies after lawmakers expressed concern over where the large amount of cottonseed that had been imported had been used.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬) said on Monday that other than a Ting Hsin International Group subsidiary that supplies edible oil — which was found to have used adulterated oil from Chang Chi Foodstuff Factory Co in 21 of its oil products — three other companies had imported thousands of tonnes of cottonseed, but the government did not know where all of it has been used.
She said the three companies were Dachan Great Wall Group, Fwusow Industry and Sun Ford.
DPP Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said that Customs Administration statistics show at least 6,000 tonnes of cottonseed had been imported into the nation over the past four years, and if all of it had been processed into oil, it would have produced at least 2,400 tonnes of cottonseed oil.
However, the government does not have a clue what they were actually used for, Chen said.
The Customs Administration has confirmed that a total of 1,357 tonnes of cottonseed have been purchased by five companies this year, but said it cannot publicize the names of the companies.
Yesterday, Chu Ching-cheng (朱慶誠), deputy director of the council’s Animal Husbandry Department, said the government was obliged to keep the information classified, but four of the five companies have already explained what the cottonseed was used for.
According to the department, the four companies said it was used to produce animal feed, while the other company, a trading firm that deals with the import and export of seafood, fruit and vegetables, oil products, animal feed and beans, said it had sold the cottonseeds to other companies.
To confirm that they were telling the truth, council agents, accompanied by Ministry of Health personnel, visited the companies for spot inspections.
Initial inspection results showed that Fwusow used the cottonseeds to feed its dairy cows and sheep to increase their milk production and improve digestion, while Sun Ford used them as additives in animal feed and does not have oil refining or storage equipment at its factory, the council said.
Ting Hsin used them to make cottonseed meal and fertilizers, while Dachan Great Wall Group used them as additives in animal feed, the results showed, the council said.