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Prosecutors raid Flavor Full Foods
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-12-04 04:27 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Prosecutors raided the offices of Flavor Full Foods Inc. Wednesday in connection with new allegations about adulteration of the company’s sesame oils and about insider trading.

Flavor Full was named last October as one of the food companies in a scandal involving the use of low-quality oil and banned copper chlorophyllin to adulterate edible oil products in order to make bigger profits. According to its web site, the company is Taiwan’s biggest producer and exporter of sesame oil, which it markets under the brand name Foreway.

Investigators visited the offices and factories of Flavor Full in Wugu, New Taipei City, and in Central Taiwan Wednesday and reportedly took in at least 28 people for questioning, including company chairman Chen Wen-nan.

The investigation centered on allegations that four types of pure black sesame oil had been adulterated with yellow sesame oil, reports said. According to the health authorities, bottles of black sesame oil contained between 0.5 percent and 37 percent of yellow sesame oil.

In October, Flavor Full admitted to mixing low-quality cottonseed oil with 24 varieties of its higher-quality and higher-priced oils after initially claiming it only exported the products. It also added artificial flavorings to one type of peanut oil.

Chen was charged with violating the Act Governing Food Sanitation and the company was fined NT$8 million (US$270,000).

Flavor Full was found to be the only importer of crude cottonseed oil in Taiwan besides Chang Chi Foodstuff Factory Co., Ltd., the Changhua-based company at the heart of the adulterated oil scandal.

Flavor Full said in a statement on its web site that it had taken back 820 tons of edible oil by mid-November. Oil from the bottles which had not been opened yet would be reprocessed and exported, while the oil from already opened bottles would be used for non-food products under supervision of health authorities, according to the web site. Flavor Full also promised not to import cottonseed oil or related products again.

After the scandal broke, former Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Shih Ming-te reportedly filed a class-action lawsuit against the company to seek compensation.

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