The Supreme Court yesterday affirmed the guilty ruling for a Kaohsiung couple for using unapproved chemical additives in kelp products, upholding one-year prison sentences for both.
The court also confiscated NT$7.61 million (US$257,914) to compensate for illicit profits from their business, and imposed fines of NT$1.8 million for the couple, surnamed Pan (潘) and Chen (陳), for breaches of the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品安全衛生管理法).
Health authorities had in March 2015 received reports that the kelp products sold by the couple contained industrial-grade additives, which are only approved for use in food in small amounts, including ammonium bicarbonate, ammonium aluminium sulfate, sodium dithionite and acetic acid.
Judicial investigators and Kaohsiung Department of Health officers later seized the prohibited chemical substances from the couple, which they had added to their products to soften them and freshen their appearance.
Investigators said the couple operated a produce shop in Fongshan District (鳳山), from which they distributed their products to food retailers, markets and restaurants in the region.
Prosecutors in the first trial said the couple had started to use the additives in 2002, and estimated that they had made about NT$7.61 million in illicit profits in over 14 years, having sold up to 3.6 tonnes of kelp products per month.
The couple appealed the verdict and judges of the Kaohsiung branch of the High Court reversed the decision in the second ruling, citing the couple as saying that they had only used additives that it deemed approved by health authorities.
However, in yesterday’s ruling, which cannot be appealed, Supreme Court judges concurred with prosecutors who claimed that the couple had purposely bought food additives labeled as “for industrial use only,” and deemed “not suitable for human consumption.”
The judges stated that the couple had used the additives to reduce costs, knowing that the chemicals might be dangerous to consumers.
A debt dispute between a restaurant owner and a criminal ring might be behind a bizarre cockroach attack at the Taipei eatery on Monday night while it was hosting a police gathering, Taipei Police Commissioner Chen Jia-chang (陳嘉昌) said yesterday. Preliminary findings of a police investigation into the case at the G House Taipei suggest that the unusual incident might have been directed at the restaurant’s owner, who allegedly owes money to the Bamboo Union, Chen said. The suspects were Bamboo Union members and there was no evidence indicating that the cockroaches were targeted at the police officers at the restaurant, he
Taiwan’s armed forces should closely monitor China’s development of a new tanker aircraft, as it would significantly boost the Chinese air force’s capability to carry out long-range raids, a military expert said on Wednesday. Ou Si-fu (歐錫富), a research fellow at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, said in an online article that China is developing a tanker variant of its Y-20 military transport aircraft, known as the Y-20U. The Y-20 has a maximum take-off weight of 220 tonnes and the tanker variant is expected to carry up to 60 tonnes of fuel, more than three times the maximum
QUARANTINE BLUNDER: The government should be responsible for a cluster infection at a hotel, as the cases have caused panic, DPP Legislator Chen Ming-wen said The Ministry of Transportation and Communications should make it mandatory for pilots and flight attendants, as well as their family members, to be vaccinated in view of a cluster of COVID-19 cases at the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport hotel, lawmakers said at a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday. The cluster infection at the hotel had led to 28 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, including hotel workers, as well as China Airlines flight and cabin crew, and their family members. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday tightened quarantine requirements for pilots and flight attendants, who must quarantine
TRAVELING WHILE CONTAGIOUS: The highest risk of infection is indoors, especially in settings where people take off their masks to eat and drink, an expert warned The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday posted a list of places visited by people who were recently diagnosed with COVID-19 while they were likely contagious, urging people who visited the sites at the same time to practice self-health management. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that confirmed case No. 1,129 — a woman in her 60s who works at Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport, a designated quarantine facility, and tested positive on Friday — visited Chiayi between Friday last week and Monday. On the first day of her trip, she visited the Big Chiayi