TAIPEI, Taiwan - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced its latest inspection results, saying that Namchow Chemical Industrial Co. Ltd. had imported oil products without official border inspection documents and that some of their products may be problematic.
Although Namchow had provided official documents from Australian Office Taipei and the Philippines' Bureau of Agriculture to prove that it imported edible oil, these documents still need to be examined for their authenticity.
Before all the products are confirmed to be fit for human consumption, authorities will take essential actions to prevent possible damage.
According to the FDA, it has been expanding oil inspections on 27 oil companies in Taiwan due to the oil scandal that began this September.
After several days of inspections, the FDA has narrowed down the targets to four companies that have imported lard products.
So far Chang Guann Co. and Cheng-I Food Co. have been found to be problematic. Namchow, the third firm to be inspected, is also the third firm to be deemed questionable by the FDA.
The FDA stated that although Namchow can provide the necessary documents for its lard products with official certifications from Spain, the tallow products, coconut oil and palm kernel oil it imported were found to be questionable and need official government documents to prove that they are edible.
The company imported a total 12 batches of tallow from Australia; five of the batches are exempt from customs examinations.
In addition, the five batches were labelled for industrial use, though Namchow claimed that this is merely a clerical error and these products are actually made for human consumption.
The FDA has demanded that the company explain the actual use of these tallow products.
Apart from tallow products, the FDA also found that 22 batches of coconut oil were without proper customs documents.
Three batches of these coconut oil products are labelled for industrial use, with a reference saying that it can be refined for human consumption.
There are also another three batches of palm kernel oil with similar customs labels.
Governments Take Action over Namchow Oil Issue
"We believe that Namchow was attempting to evade customs tariffs and avoid spending the time to report the products to customs officials.
Regardless of whether or not these oil products are edible, the company has broken the law by not importing its products via legal procedures.
Therefore, the government will still issue fines to the company," said FDA acting Director-General Chiang Yu-mei.
The FDA and Public Health Bureau of Taoyuan County have already demanded that the company pull all its questionable products (a total of 123 items) from shelves and suspend its operations immediately.
In addition, the company was ordered to provide relevant documents to prove the legality of its products before noon yesterday.
As for the fourth targeted company that has yet to be revealed, the FDA only stated that it is still looking into the matter and will release the information as soon as possible.