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Dairy farmers sue Business Weekly for compensation
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-12-13 07:10 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Dairy sector associations sued Chinese-language Business Weekly Friday to demand NT$10 million (US$337,800) following the magazine’s allegations of banned drugs in milk.

The associations said the reports caused a loss of NT$200 million (US$6.7 million) for their sector. Business Weekly never apologized for the allegations and never discussed the possibility of compensation, officials said.

Last month, the magazine alleged that eight dairy products from major brand names contained toxic residues, including antibiotics, plasticizers and contraceptives. The Food and Drug Administration said its own tests did not reveal the presence of those substances, and contested the methodology of tests conducted on behalf of the magazine.

The two sides traded exchanges, with the government setting ultimatums for Business Weekly to supply a complete explanation of which laboratory conducted its tests and what kind of methods it used.

The dairy sector officials said that if the court ruled in their favor in the compensation trial, they would give all the money to charity. They also demanded that the magazine publish apologies in all major newspapers.

However, they said they would also visit the Shilin District Prosecutors Office on December 16 to file a defamation suit against Ming Chuan University assistant professor Chen Liang-yu, who was in charge of the test review on behalf of the magazine.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare and the FDA had sent experts to farms and factories to conduct inspections and take samples, with the result that all products had proven harmless, the groups said. The factories had also sent samples to authorized laboratories with similar results, according to the associations.

The Business Weekly tests targeted products from Wei Chuan Foods Corporation, Uni-President Enterprises, Kuangchuan and Taiwan Bifido, all of who said their dairy products were subjected to tests as they entered their factories and after they left as processed products. The four companies hold a combined market share of 70 percent for milk.

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