Hong Kong customs agency drops case against Taiwan bakery chain
Central News Agency
2014-01-14 10:40 PM
Hong Kong, Jan. 14 (CNA) Taipei-based Top Pot Bakery chain is off the hook in Hong Kong after the local Customs and Excise Department decided to drop a case against it over the use of artificial flavoring even though its products were marketed as all natural. A spokesperson for the customs agency said Tuesday that authorities discovered in August 2013 that Top Pot, which operates one store in Hong Kong, used artificial flavoring in an apparent instance of misleading advertising. The bakery chain however apologized and acknowledged the use of flavoring essences in its baked goods by posting a notice at the store. During the customs department investigation, Top Pot issued a written statement promising it will not repeat the problematic practices and will improve the way it does business, according to the spokesman. After evaluating the bakery's arguments and receiving approval from law enforcement authorities, the customs agency accepted Top Pot's apology and promise to make improvements within two years. According to Hong Kong regulations, if the bakery breaks the law for not delivering on its promise, the department can resume investigations and initiate legal proceedings. The controversy over ingredients used at the bakery chain, which had been invested in and promoted by talk show host Dee Hsu (also known as Little S), began in August last year when a Hong Kong blogger posted an article that accused the chain of lying to customers because it had used artificial ingredients in products labeled all natural. (By Stanley Cheung and Y.L. Kao)
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