Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-10-22 03:11 PM
The Great Day grapeseed oil featured erroneous ingredient labels, said opposition Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Huang Wei-cher.
Standard Foods Corporation, which produces Great Day, countered the allegations, saying its labels were correct while it was the testing that might be problematic. The company said inspectors were welcome to visit its factory and conduct checks.
Huang said the then-Department of Health tested 25 types of oil last year and found seven had contents which did not match the listed ingredients. Seven of the oils, including four from Chang Chi, showed problems, Huang said, adding that the DOH, which changed its name to Ministry of Health and Welfare, knew about the problems a year ago but did nothing about them.
The test results described Great Day’s grapeseed oil as being somewhat far removed from the real product, with further tests necessary to determine the product’s nature, Huang said.
The lawmaker called on prosecutors and the Control Yuan, the nation’s top government watchdog, to investigate why the report had been lying around for so long without the ministry taking any action.
Health and Welfare Vice Minister Hsu Ming-neng said no products were mentioned by name in the report, only by a reference number, and further tests were needed before reaching conclusions. The research was conducted last October while the report was finalized in December, he said.
The Taipei District Prosecutors Office was reportedly looking into the affair and might call Hsu as a witness
Premier Jiang said Tuesday he had ordered all local governments to remove Chang Chi food oil products from the shelves within a week or issue fines. Supermarkets and convenience stores would take rapid action, but small grocery stores in the countryside might be slower and might therefore need encouragement from local governments, Jiang said.
The premier acknowledged that the country did not count enough food safety inspectors, but he said that laws and fines were now much more severe than they used to be.
The country’s schools and military were found to have bought and used Chang Chi oil, reports said, with 123 schools in 11 cities and counties using the company’s salad oil. Miaoli County recorded 26 schools using the oil, the highest number in the country. New Taipei City ordered 12 schools to stop using the oil.
In Taipei City, inspectors visited food courts at department stores Tuesday to check for the use of Chang Chi products. Fines of up to NT$3 million (US$102,000) were possible for violations, reports said. Colleagues in Chiayi City inspected night markets but found no problematic oil products.