TAIWAN - The head of Tatung Changchi Foodstuff Factory Co., Kao Cheng-li, was charged yesterday with deception and violation of the Act Governing Food Sanitation, and his illegal income of NT$1.8 billon (S$75 million) was confiscated, the Changhua District Prosecutors Office announced yesterday.
According to local media, Kao being charged for food violations 10 days after the investigation was launched is the fastest a suspect has ever been indicted for food violations.
Chief Prosecutor of the Changhua District Prosecutors Office Hung Chih-yung said that Kao has been involved in the addition of cheap oil into oil products that are marked as high-end oils for over seven years.
"Kao has been profiting from the deception to the tune of NT$1.8 billion, so prosecutors are asking the court to give Kao the maximum sentence possible and also to retrieve all of Kao's illegal income," said Hung.
Meanwhile, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wei Ming-ku said that he received a report from a former Changchi employee that the satay sauce Changchi manufactured is made with discarded ingredients.
"Consuming that sauce could result in people suffering from liver cancer and other severe diseases," said Wei.
Rotten Ingredients for Sauce Making
Wei said that Changchi purchased mushrooms that were discarded by food sellers and added mouldy mushrooms into the production of satay sauce to replace fresh mushrooms.
"As for fish, another ingredient that is supposed to be added into the sauce, Changchi put frozen fish that had been expired for 20 years into the sauce," said Wei. "The company chopped, fried and flavored all these ingredients to make the satay sauce."
"Changchi used all these low-quality ingredients to make the satay sauce in order to save on costs," Wei said. "However, the mould inside the mushrooms will generate aflatoxin after being fried, which might cause liver cancer, exsanguine tissue and anorexia."
Wei said that the Ministry of Health and Welfare should immediately inspect all the products Changchi manufactures regarding the ingredients the company uses and the labels of the company's products.
Taiwan Imported 5,000 Tons of Cottonseed Oil Cakes Last Year
Wan Fang Hospital psychiatrist Pan Chien-Chin yesterday published statistics showing that the number of cottonseed oil cakes, which can be used to produce cottonseed oil at lower cost, skyrocketed to over 5,000 tons last year.
Pan said that based on the statistics, the amount of imported cottonseed oil and cottonseed oil cakes has increased dramatically, which does not match some oil manufacturers' statements that all the products containing cottonseed oil were exported to other countries.
"Cotton is usually used to make clothes, so people don't pay attention to the amount of pesticide contained inside cotton," said Pan. "However, the cottonseed oil that was used as lubricant for sewing machines is now being added into cooking oil and there are no related regulations in Taiwan that can be used to regulate the action."