TAIPEI, Taiwan - The Consumers' Foundation yesterday released a list of 16 mislabeled produ cts that do not contain the advertised ingredients, the result of a random sampling test at supermarkets and shops.
Following a series of revelations of food safety violations in recent years, ranging from the plasticizer scandal of 2011 and this year's cooking oil scare, the Consumers' Foundation has continued its efforts to ensure the safety of foods consumed by the people of Taiwan.
Products listed by the watchdog organisation include candies, crackers, instant noodles, beverages, frozen foods and instant noodles. The organisation found that these products all bore names and packaging featuring specific ingredients; however, testing revealed none of them contained any traces of the advertised substances. Examples of misleadingly labelled products include strawberry chocolates that contained no traces of strawberries nor chocolates, egg pudding that contained no eggs, fruit tofu that contained no fruit, and shrimp balls that are not made out of shrimp.
The organisation also found that a number of fruit juices made from concentrates are still being made without keywords indicating their manufacturing process. According to regulations, such products must clearly indicate that they are fruit flavored and not entirely made from pressed fruits, said the watchdog group. Most beverages with fruit printed on their labels are mostly comprised of food colouring, sugar, and flavorings. The organisations reminded businesses that products violating the terms stipulations by the Act Governing Food Sanitation may face mandatory recall.
Most notably, the organisation stated that from the little information printed on products' packages, it is difficult to deduce how its flavors are achieved. In this vein, the organisation questioned food company Laurel over how the shrimp flavor of its shrimp ball products are achieved if they are not made out of shrimp.
The organisation urged governing bodies to step up regulations relating to the packaging representation of products and food safety standards for the interest of the public.