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3 countries allow Taiwan inspectors to check oil makers

3 countries allow Taiwan inspectors to check oil makers

Taipei, Oct. 26 (CNA) Japan, Spain and Australia have agreed to allow Taiwanese inspectors to check their respective certified factories producing oil and fat, a senior health official in Taiwan said Sunday. Chiang Yu-mei, the Food and Drug Administration's acting director-general, explained the problems found in edible oils in Taiwan have illustrated the importance of checking sources, prompting authorities to request inspections at the factories abroad. The inspection dates have not yet been set, she said. "The influence of raw materials is huge," Chiang told the press, saying the spate of adulterated oil incidents that has gripped Taiwan since October last year has exposed the weakness of privately-run surveyors in exporting countries. She was referring to suspicions that some raw materials exporters provide forged product quality certificates for customs inspection, which she said shows the importance of inspecting raw materials producers at the source. At the center of the oil safety scandals is Taiwanese food giant Ting Hsin International Group, best known for its flagship brand Wei Chuan and instant noodle brand Master Kong. Ting Hsin was found last year to be buying colored cottonseed oil for production of edible oils, which were marketed as "pure" olive and grapeseed oils. In September of this year, Wei Chuan was exposed to have processed foods with oils purchased from an oil maker who used recycled kitchen and industrial waste. Just this month, two oil producing units under the Ting Hsin group were separately discovered having sold adulterated oils mixed with lard and beef tallow imported from Vietnam that was meant for use in animal feed. During investigations into those incidents, the companies involved claimed they were not aware that the raw materials they imported were not fit for human consumption. One of the implicated companies produced export documents from the sourcing country that specifies the exports are for human use, prompting local authorities' interest in examining foreign sources first-hand. (By Lung Pei-ning and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-10-18 04:02 GMT+08:00