Copper chlorophyllin found in Wu-Mu Ramen products

TAIPEI - Three Wu-Mu Ramen products were taken off shelves for violating regulations regarding sodium copper chlorophyllin content in the noodles, Sing-Lin Foods Corp. announced yesterday.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW) yesterday continued to investigate two companies that imported sodium copper chlorophyllin and five companies, including Sing-Lin Foods Corp., that have been purchasing sodium copper chlorophyllin from those importers.

Sing-Lin Foods Corp. General Manger Teng Tung-mu said that the company has been purchasing natural chlorophyllin from Chin Haoo Trading Co., Ltd. as a food additive for certain noodle products.

"However, Chin Haoo informed Sing-Lin on Nov. 4 that there was an adjustment on packaging and the label was changed from natural chlorophyllin to sodium copper chlorophyllin," said Teng.

"Sing-Lin understood that sodium copper chlorophyllin is not allowed to be added to noodles," said Teng. "Therefore, the company decided to stop the production process of the three noodle products that contain sodium copper chlorophyllin and take them off shelves immediately."

According to Teng, customers can take the packages of the three products to retailers for refunds with or without the receipts.

Tsai Shu-chen (蔡淑貞) of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that according to the Standards for Specification, Scope, Application and Limitation of Food Additives, sodium copper chlorophyllin is not allowed to be added to noodles, and those who violate the regulation could receive a fine of NT$30,000 to a maximum of NT$3 million.

"Even though Sing-Lin already took the questionable products off shelves, local health officials still have to conduct investigations and destroy all the seized products," said Tsai.

According to the Standards for Specification, Scope, Application and Limitation of Food Additives, sodium copper chlorophyllin and copper chlorophyllin complex can only be added into gum, dried seaweed, processed vegetables and fruits, baked goods, jelly, jams and drinks.

FDA Division Director Feng Jun-lan (馮潤蘭) said that copper chlorophyllin complex is a internationally approved food additive, but there

is no country that allows food manufacturers to add copper chlorophyllin complex into cooking oil products.

COA to Investigate Ting Hsin's Cottonseed Usage

The Council of Agriculture (COA) yesterday said that the test results of the crushed cottonseed samples will be announced within two to three days.

Kuomintang Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) showed a statement on Ting Hsin's official website that said on Nov. 3 that the company does import cottonseed and process it to make cottonseed oils.

"However, on Nov. 6, Ting Hsin changed the statement on its official website, saying that the company only used the cottonseed as organic fertilizer," said Lee.

COA Minister Chen Bao-ji (陳保基) said that based on the information Ting Hsin provided, the council confirmed that the cottonseed is used as fertilizer, but final confirmation will not be announced until the test results from Ting Hsin's crushed cottonseed sample is done.

Chen said that the COA will also inspect Ting Hsin's fertilizer products that are on the market and check their oil content to make sure the company did not import cottonseed to make food oil.