TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Pingtung District Prosecutors Office yesterday applied for Chang Guann Chairman Yeh Wen-hsiang to be indicted over his involvement in the recent tainted oil scandal after an interrogation session in which Yeh appeared uncooperative.
According to prosecutors, Yeh's statements changed many times during questioning, leaving authorities with the opinion that Yeh is hiding the truth. They decided to list him as a defendant, as they believe he poses a flight risk and may attempt to collude with other involved parties in a bid to distort the facts.
After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) demanded the removal of all Chang Guann lard products from shelves, more products from big brands were yesterday revealed to have been produced using waste oil, including products made by Want-Want Holdings Limited, Vedan Enterprise Co. and Kuai Kuai Co. Ltd.
Taichung City's Health Bureau stated that upon the release of the FDA findings, Vedan reported having bought lard oil products from Chang Guann. According to the Health Bureau, Vedan used Chang Guann's products to produce 173,000 boxes of instant noodles. Vedan has sold 159,865 of the boxes and 13,135 remain in its factories. The Health Bureau confiscated all the remaining boxes and demanded that Vedan recall sold items.
The Yilan County Public Health Bureau reported that Want Want's Yilan-based factory used Chang Guann's oil to manufacture nine kinds of products.
The spokesman for the Yilan factory said that they have already notified retailers and directed them to pull questionable Want Want products from shelves. He also said that the factory has already changed the oil it uses and products made after Sept. 10 will be in stores soon.
Two snacks from Kuai Kuai have also been affected by the oil scandal. According to the Public Health Bureau of Taoyuan County, Kuai Kuai reported that it had purchased 40 barrels of Chang Guann's oil to produce two kinds of snack products. Kuai Kuai said that all the products have been recalled.
Celebrity Chef Offers Apology
Master Ah-Chi , a celebrity chef, got down on his knees yesterday to apologise for endorsing one of the waste oil-tainted products - Bull Head Shallot Sauce - made by Haw-Di-I Foods Co. Ltd.
Ah-Chi, whose real name is Cheng Yen-chi, said he does not approve of the actions of Yeh, who on Sept. 11 drank oil produced by his company in a bid to persuade consumers to trust its products. The chef said that the health impacts of waste oil will not be revealed directly after it is ingested. However, hazards will come to light after consuming the oil over a long period and may damage the health of consumers.
"Although I am not fully responsible for the tainted products, I am still part of the problem. Many people buy the products because of me," said Ah-Chi.
In addition, he also hopes that his actions can make food companies and manufacturers more responsible when making their products.