TAIPEI, Taiwan - The contents of 11 out of 12 alcohol products manufactured by Ta Lien Alcohol Company, an affiliate of Tatung Changchi Foodstuff Factory Co., were found not to match the ingrediants listed on their labels, the Changhua Government's Department of Finance (DOF) announced yesterday.
The DOF fined Ta Lien Alcohol Company NT$5.5 million (S$230,000) for dishonest labeling of the 11 alcohol products.
Chen Min-jui of the DOF said that Ta Lien reported to officials that the 11 alcohol products all fell under the category of distilled alcohol.
"However, among the 12 alcohol products inspected at this time, only the ingredients of the ginseng alcohol comply with standards on distilled alcohol, while the other 11 alcohol products, including wine and rice wine, are mixtures of edible alcohol, glutinous rice-wine flavoring, and juices," said Chen.
According to Chen, Ta Lien manufactured about 400,000 liters of its rice alcohol, intended for cooking use, over the course of this year, with 60,000 liters sold to the military and the remainder sold to retail stores and supermarkets in 600-cubic-centimeter packages.
"Even though Changchi can remove false labels on their cooking oils in order to move their products back to market, Ta Lien cannot do the same with their alcohol products," Chen said.
If Ta Lien wishes to put all its mislabeled products back on the market again, Chen said, the company must reapply for a license to produce alcohol mixtures.
"The DOF decided to request that the Ministry of Finance suspend Ta Lien from manufacturing products for six months to a year as punishment for putting misleading labels on its products," said Chen.
Ta Lien will have recall all its alcohol products that do not meet regulations from store shelves after receiving a verdict from the Changhua government, said Chen.
According to the DOF, Ta Lien received a license of authorisation to produce alcohol products from the Ministry of Finance in 2006, and the company manufactured 500,000 liters of alcohol last year.
The DOF said that consumers can bring proofs of purchase of Ta Lien's mislabeled alcohol products to ask for refunds.
No Pure Soy Sauce Under NT$40: Ve Wong
The General Manager of Ve Wong Corporation Chen Gong-ping yesterday said that consumers should not purchase any soy sauce priced under NT$40 which is marked as pure soy sauce.
Chen Gong-ping said that pure soy sauce requires a mixture of soybeans and wheat preserved for 180 days, and the cost of one cc of pure soy sauce is over NT$1 on average.
"Based on the average cost of pure soy sauce, it is not normal for a company to sell a bottle of 360 cc pure soy sauce under the price of NT$40," said Chen.