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Counterfeit oil products must be destroyed: FDA

2013/10/27 20:38:23

Taipei, Oct. 27 (CNA) Counterfeit edible oils and those containing the banned chemical copper chlorophyllin must be destroyed, while oils that have been mislabeled may be returned to store shelves after rectification of the labels, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said Sunday.

For example, oils that are not made from olives but are sold as olive oil are considered counterfeits and have to be destroyed, in accordance with the Act Governing Food Sanitation, said Wu Shiow-ing, deputy director-general of the health ministry's Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In the case of cooking oil blends, however, the contents must be listed on the labels and the products checked by government's health agencies before they could be returned to the market, she said.

A schedule will be set by the local governments for the destruction of counterfeit edible oils and those added with copper chlorophyllin -- a coloring agent banned from use in cooking oils in Taiwan, Wu said.

FDA food division chief Tsai Shu-chen said Flavor Full Foods Inc., a manufacturer in Changhua County that was implicated in a recent food scandal, has been allowed to resume sale of some of its products but its labeling must be checked by the county government.

According to the Changhua County government, 25 types of oil products made by Flavor Full Foods were found to have been mislabeled, with 24 of them omitting cottonseed oil as an ingredient and one failing to list peanut flavoring.

Meanwhile, 42 types of edible oils sold by Chang Chi Foodstuff under the brand Tatung will have to be destroyed, said Yeh Yen-po, director-general of Changhua County's Public Health Bureau.

He said 24 other Tatung oil products that were seized may be returned to store shelves once the labeling has been corrected, but a full recall of the brand is not yet completed.

Chang Chi violated the regulations by not listing cottonseed oil as an ingredient in its blended oil products, Yeh said.

Cottonseed oil, which is a cheaper ingredient, is believed to cause infertility in males if consumed regularly although the substance causing the problem has been removed by refining from the cottonseed oil used by the two manufacturers.

In New Taipei, the city's Public Health Department said it has asked Flavor Full Foods to submit its new labels for approval before its products could be repackaged and returned to store shelves.

The company's mislabeled oils were purchased by more than 200 restaurants and night market vendors in New Taipei and 1,034 food businesses across the country.

Flavor Full Foods is required to recall all of its mislabeled products by Oct. 31, and so far, 15,000 items have been removed from store shelves, the department said.

Retailers that continue to sell recalled items will be subject to a maximum fine of NT$30,000 (US$1020), according Lin Kuan-chen, a section chief at the department warned.

(By Surise Huang, Lin Heng-li, Chen Shu-fen and Maia Huang)