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Man charged with selling 400 tons of illegal pesticide from China

Man charged with selling 400 tons of illegal pesticide from China

Taipei, March 10 (CNA) Prosecutors indicted a man in Taichung and his daughter Tuesday for selling more than 400 metric tons of unauthorized pesticide from China. Prosecutors in Miaoli County sought heavy penalties for Fu Wen-chung, who runs Taiwan Agriwell Co. -- an importer of pesticide, fertilizer and other agricultural products -- and his daughter Fu Yen-chen, as well as company employee Chen Hsien-nan, saying the amount of unlicensed pesticide involved was the most in any crackdown on illegal pesticide in Taiwan's history. The pesticide has been unknowingly used by farmers all over Taiwan, posing a serious threat to consumers, water and soil, prosecutors said. The 417 metric tons of illicit chemicals have been sold to farmers in Miaoli in the north of the country, Taichung and Changhua County in central Taiwan, the southern counties of Yunlin, Chiayi and Pingtung, Yilan County in northeastern Taiwan and Hualien County in the east between January 2013 and August 2014. Prosecutors estimated that the sales earned Fu's company profits topping NT$18 million (US$567,360). The three sourced uncertified pesticide from China and India and transported it to Vietnam or Singapore before passing it off as legal imports from Vietnam. Fu, 60, who has a major in agronomy from National Chung Hsing University, was found guilty in 2013 for fabricating pesticide labels, prosecutors noted. Fu, who was given a suspended sentence for the 2013 conviction, nevertheless went on to violate the government ban on pesticide from China to make huge illicit gains. Chao Yen-li, chief prosecutor at Miaoli District Prosecutors Office, said many countries, including Taiwan, ban pesticide from China due to concerns that it contains heavy metals and other dangerous chemicals. Huang Chen-lun, a prosecutor responsible for the case, noted that uncertified pesticide may contain certain materials that are carcinogenic, cause deformed fetuses and pollute the environment, citing Ho Ming-hsun, a section chief at the Taiwan Agricultural Chemicals and Toxic Substances Research Institute under the Council of Agriculture. Taiwan has some 270,000 hectares of actual arable land, Huang said. If each hectare needs 1 liter of pesticide, the 417 metric tons of pesticide could be used to treat at least 4.17 million hectares, which is more than 10 times Taiwan's actual arable land, he added.
"It is not hard to imagine the level of threat this unauthotrized pesticide poses to our environment," Huang said. (By Kuan Jui-ping and Scully Hsiao)


Updated : 2021-09-22 14:55 GMT+08:00