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Father-son duo indicted for selling toxic additives to tofu producers

Father-son duo indicted for selling toxic additives to tofu producers

Taipei, Dec. 30 (CNA) The owner of a food additive manufacturing company and his son were indicted Tuesday on charges of fraud and offenses against food safety for having sold emulsifiers containing dimethyl yellow, a dye that has been found to cause liver cancer in animals, to manufacturers of tofu products. The Changhua District Prosecutors Office filed the charges against Lu Tien-jung, owner of the business called Chien Hsin, and his son Lu Chia-chien, asking for a punishment of 20 years for the father and 18 for the son, saying they lack remorse for the apparent crime. Prosecutors have asked for a combined fine of NT$20 million (US$630,000) and legal action to confiscate the duo's allegedly ill-gotten income of NT$25.2 million. The company was found on Dec. 16 to have supplied producers and processors of tofu products with tainted emulsifiers, which are used to speed up the process of making the popular snacks. The discovery came after Hong Kong's Centre for Food Safety said it had detected traces of dimethyl yellow, which is banned from being used in foods because of its toxicity, in a dried tofu product from Taiwan. Prosecutors said Lu and son began producing the substandard emulsifiers in 2008 for sale to suppliers of tofu-based products. "From tofu and dried tofu vending stands in traditional markets to big shopping malls, even those in overseas markets... all have had to pull tainted products off the shelves for destruction," the prosecutors office said. "The impact is deep and wide and severely harms the nation's image." (By Wu Jhe-hao and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-04-11 14:34 GMT+08:00