Taiwan's health ministry declares Namchow products edible

TAIPEI, Taiwan - The Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW) received positive results from their investigation of Namchow Group's oil products yesterday, stating that Namchow's products are suitable for human consumption.

Namchow's 123 food products, which were removed from shelves as a precaution, are once again available in stores starting yesterday. Investigation revealed that the products had been removed because Namchow mislabeled imported shipments of food oil as "non-edible."

Namchow spokesman Chen Ching-chou said that the company is deeply sorry and thankful for using government resources to clear its name. Chen said that Namchow will improve how it oversees and manages its food production.

Taiwan's convenience store chain FamilyMart promptly stopped selling its soft serve ice cream upon learning of Namchow's presumably tainted products on Wednesday, as Namchow's products were supposedly used as ingredients.

However, FamilyMart resumed selling the product on Thursday, after discovering that said products are not actually used in the making of its ice cream.

Although FamilyMart allegedly lost more than NT$4 million (S$167,595) over its discontinuance of soft serve sales, the store dismissed its profit motive in the face of food security issues and considers the rights of consumers a priority, according to spokeswoman Lin Tsui-chuan.

Cabinet's Food Safety Office in Operation Today

Cabinet spokesman Sun Lih-chyun yesterday said that the new food safety office in operation today is to be directed by Health Minister-designate Chiang Been-huang before an official director is appointed.

Chiang said that the new office takes on four major responsibilities, the first being to collect and analyse information from the market to propose food safety policies.

The second is to gather information from cloud platforms belonging to the government and the public. The third is to inspect and control the quality of food company products, and the last is to resolve consumer conflicts over food security issues.

President Ma Ying-jeou said that the capital of five questionable food oil producers has been frozen and the government is looking into other suspected food manufacturers.

Ting Hsin International Group's Evasion Failed

Despite Ting Hsin's efforts to evade an investigation, its executive Wei Ying-chung was detained on Friday. After the MHW proclaimed that Ting Hsin's oil products were tainted, Ting Hsin's employees attempted to evade a probe by destroying related documents and concealing the whereabouts of test reports.

However, a Ting Hsin employee accidentally let slip the long-term business relationship between Ting Hsin and Vietnamese company Dai Hanh Phuc, which exports oil meant for animal feed to Taiwan.

Meanwhile. the founder of a homemade soap bar, Xin, said that the soap bars made from Ting Hsin's oil products start to deteriorate in a couple of weeks.

Uni-President Enterprises Corp.'s spokesman Tu Chung-cheng said that the corporation did not import oil products from Vietnam yesterday.