TAIPEI, Taiwan - Six defendants from Flavor Full Foods admitted to mixing cheaper oils into the company's famous "pure" sesame oil in Flavor Full's first trial following revelations of the impure oil scandals.
Including Chairman Chen Wen-nan, technical director Chen Rui-li, research & development centre manager Lin Rui-tsung, and supplies section chief Liu Chi-wei, the six were indicted by the Changhua District Prosecutors Office earlier this month and charged with fraud and violations of the Act Governing Food Sanitation.
Despite Chen Wen-nan contradicting his previous claims of selling products mixed with cottonseed oil overseas by later admitting that the company had 24 oil products containing the said additive on shelves in Taiwan, Chen and his fellow defendants only admitted to having added low-cost sesame oil and corn oil into three of the firm's so-called 100-per cent pure sesame oil products since December 2009.
The defendants also stood their ground when the presiding judge inquired about their opinions on the fraud charges, with all six insisting that they would discuss the charges with their attorneys. Seeing that the defendants would only answer that they would talk with their lawyers before admitting to the charges, the judge questioned why they had not held the discussions prior to the trial, to which Chen's lawyer replied that he had only received and read the details of the upcoming trial last week and that there had been no time for discussions.
The lawyer, surnamed Hsu, added that he hoped the judge would allow Flavor Full a new chance as the firm had had a good record and showed sincerity in handling the oil scandal.
The second trial is set to be held on Dec. 16.
Spanish Firm, Local Importer Summoned for Questioning
After copper chlorophyllin complex, a prohibited additive, was discovered in 12 cooking oils manufactured by major local oil companies including Fwusow Industry Co. and Taisun Enterprise Co., Ltd., the Public Health Bureau of Changhua County searched Taisun's offices last week and seized certain oil products that were produced with oil imported from Spain. The grapeseed oil and olive oil that were discovered to contain copper chlorophyllin complex were imported from Spain and Italy by firms Vidoria and Basso Fedele & Figli Srl, respectively.
The Changhua District Prosecutors Office (CDPO) searched Spain via Vidoria's office in Taichung City last week after accusations that they allegedly provided major oil manufacturers with imported oils that contained copper chlorophyllin complex; Vidoria's officials arrived in Taiwan yesterday to clarify the accusations.
The Vidoria officials were summoned for questioning by the CDPO along with the company's head in Taiwan, Lin Shan-li, yesterday. Vidoria announced that it will be opening the doors of its factory in Spain for Taiwanese media outlets.
Tatung Changchi Fined Additional NT$3 Million
Tatung Changchi Foodstuff Co. was fined an additional NT$3 million (S$127,000) yesterday by Changhua's Public Health Bureau, adding up the total fines to NT$1.856 billion.