Taiwan oil company guarantees quality amid accusations

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Alfred Chen, the chairman of Namchow Chemical Industrial Co., Ltd., held a press conference yesterday afternoon to address rumours that the firm has imported questionable oil products, saying that although there have been some mistakes regarding border inspection documents, the products of Namchow are guaranteed to be high in quality and safe for consumption.

Chen stressed that the inspection issue was merely an import document clerical error and that the company would under no circumstances import problematic oil. The five batches of tallow that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found to be potentially objectionable are in fact edible and have been certified by relevant authorities from Australia, he said.

According to Chen, although these products may be mistakenly reported to be for industrial use, they are actually manufactured for human consumption.

"I guarantee that our products are guaranteed to be high quality and safe. If there is any problematic product, I would end the business immediately," Chen said.

"We had already sent relevant documents from Australia and the Philippines to the FDA at 11.50 am. (If not for our stellar reputation), the foreign authorities would not have provided the documents in such a short time," he said.

In addition, Chen also stated that the tariff for edible tallow is the same as for the non-edible version, illustrating that there is no reason for the company to buy non-edible tallow to produce food products.

Famous Brands Pull Products from Shelves

The FDA identified Namchow as being another potentially tainted food manufacturer yesterday morning. Although Namchow's chairman attempted to clear the firm's name by providing relevant documents yesterday, many shops and food brands still decided to pull their products from shelves.

Traditional pastry shop Lee-hu, which was involved in the last oil scandal and obtained oil from tainted oil manufacturer Chang Guann Co., has stopped selling yolk pastries and pineapple pastries. Lee-hu's owner stated that it will start to sell these products that contain Namchow's oil after its products are guaranteed safe by the government.

Another well-known snack shop, Fu Yishan Food Work Co. Ltd., also reported that it has been cooperating with Namchow for years and decided to pull all related products from shelves. Fu Yishan also said that it believes in the quality of Namchow's products. However, since there may be some questionable products, Fu Yishan will stop selling these products and wait for inspection results. If consumers have doubts about Fu Yishan products, they can return them, the company said.

In addition, FamilyMart also decided to temporarily suspend the sale of soft-serve ice cream as it also contains Namchow oil.