Two former senior executives of a cooking oil company were each sentenced on Tuesday to one year and four months in prison, suspended for two years, and NT$25 million (US$821,000) in fines for mixing cheaper oils into the company’s well-known “pure” sesame oil products sold in Taiwan.
In addition to the sentences given to former Flavor Full Foods Inc (富味鄉) chairman Chen Wen-nan (陳文南) and his brother, Chen Jui-li (陳瑞禮), technical development director at Flavor Full, the company itself was fined NT$5 million.
Four others at the firm — research and development center manager Lin Jui-tsung (林瑞聰), supplies section head Liu Chi-wei (劉騏瑋) and two technicians — were found not guilty on the grounds that they were not policymakers for the marketing and labeling of the company’s products.
The Changhua District Prosecutors’ Office indicted the Chen brothers and four employees late last year on charges of fraud and contravening the Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法) by mixing cheaper oil into so-called 100 percent pure sesame oil products since December 2009.
The Changhua District Court acquitted all six of the defendants of the fraud charges due to inadequate evidence.
Tuesday’s sentence for the Chen brothers was decided after judges considered their admission of wrongdoing and their willingness to recall the adulterated products and make improvements in product labeling, as well as their pledges to make donations for the public good.
Flavor Full Foods is the largest sesame oil producer in Taiwan and the second-largest in the world.
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