The Food and Drug Administration launched an investigation into leading local health food manufacturer Grape King Bio on Wednesday, following rumours that the company had been selling expired products.
Local magazine Mirror Media reported Wednesday that Grape King Bio had been putting expired food products on shelves after relabeling them.
The magazine listed six products allegedly sold after expiry, including Grape King Bio's Ganoderma extract pills, one of its best-selling products over the past 20 years.
The magazine claimed that more than 110,000 Ganoderma extract pills that had expired in 2012 were falsely labelled with an expiry date in 2015.
The magazine reported that 200,000 pills from the six products combined had been consumed over the past few years.
In an emergency meeting on Wednesday afternoon, Grape King Bio Chairman Tseng Sheng-lin rebutted the accusations, saying that "all the products produced after I took charge had met safety standards."
He said the company confirmed that the rumours had spread from a member of the Tseng household who had intended to defame the family business.
"The rumours were incorrect, and (the situation) is regrettable," Tseng said.
The Food and Drug Administration said it had collaborated with the Taipei District Prosecutors Office and searched three of Grape King Bio's storage centres on Wednesday.
"So far, investigators have found documents recording the products' expiration dates as reported by Mirror Media, but we haven't confirmed that the labels of expired products had been switched and released in the market," said Wu Ming-mei, a section chief at the Food and Drug Administration.
If investigators confirm that Grape King Bio had sold expired food products, the company could be fined from NT$60,000 (S$2700) to NT$200 million.
The person at the head of the company could be sentenced to a maximum of seven years' imprisonment as stipulated by the Health Food Control Act and the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation, Wu said.