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Chiayi City Council passes proposal to boycott Ting Hsin foods

Chiayi City Council passes proposal to boycott Ting Hsin foods

Chiayi City Council passed a proposal Monday requiring all schools in the southern Taiwan city not to use any food products made by Ting Hsin International Group.

The proposal was brought up by two city councilors amid a widespread public outcry over a district court ruling in late November that acquitted former Ting Hsin Oil and Fat Chairman Wei Ying-chung of charges related to violations of the country's food safety laws.

Wei was indicted in October 2014 after investigators found that his company had imported animal feed-grade material and declared it to customs as fit for human consumption. It was then used to make oil for cooking and making pastry.

The verdict drew a strong response from National Taiwan University (NTU) President Yang Pan-chyr, who announced Dec.1 that his university will "indefinitely boycott" Ting Hsin food products. He also urged all schools around Taiwan to join the boycott.

Since then, several city departments of education, including those in Taichung, Taoyuan and Hsinchu, have followed suit, instructing public schools to stop procuring products made by companies affiliated with the Ting Hsin group.

Chiayi Mayor Twu Shiing-jer said Monday that he supports the city council's decision, and will instruct all primary and middle schools in the city to engage in the boycott.

He also called the judges who made the acquittal ruling as "dinosaur judges," and blasted them for setting free people who profited from selling oil made from animal feed-grade oil that could contain heavy metals.

"Such a ruling is not acceptable," Tu said.

The term "dinosaur judges" is commonly used in Taiwan to refer to judges who are not attuned to the times and who make decisions contrary to public expectations.

On Nov. 27, the Changhua District Court acquitted Wei and six other executives of the company and its supplier, saying that the prosecutors failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove their claims that Ting Hsin Oil and Fat had sourced fat rendered from unhealthy animals or that the company's products had been manufactured under unsanitary conditions. (By Chiang Chun-liang and Elizabeth Hsu)

Updated : 2021-09-23 02:57 GMT+08:00