Uni-President courts media in cooking oil scare統一企業法院食用油恐慌媒體
October 14, 2014, 12:14 am TWN
The scare was set off when units of the Ting Hsin International Group were found to have blended oils designated for use in animal feed in their edible oils, leading to online rumors that Uni-President was engaged in similar practices.
TAIPEI -- Food processor Uni-President Enterprises Corp. (統一企業) opened the doors of its animal feed factory and edible oil tanks in Tainan to the media on Monday to protect its image after it was implicated in a cooking oil scare that is gripping the country.
Lawmaker Lifts the Lid
Citing the rumors, opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬) said on Oct. 9 that there were suspicions of Uni-President using oil extracted from industrial waste to produce cooking oils, and she demanded that the allegations be investigated.
Uni-President acting spokesman Tu Chung-cheng (涂忠正) acknowledged on Monday that the company purchases industrial grade lard from Tainan-based importer Beei Hae Edible Co. (北海油脂公司)
But he said it was for use in the animal feed it produces in a factory separate from the one that produces edible oils, both of which were opened to the media.
Highlighting the company's quality control procedures to the visiting media, Tu said Uni-President has cooperated with government checks of its factory's operations over the past few days.
“Since the oil storm erupted, we have also conducted checks internally. Everything is fine,” Tu said.
Uni-President went on the public relations offensive as its share price was getting hammered over the rumors that its edible oils contained ingredients not fit for human consumption.
Shares Turn to Jelly
The company's shares opened down on Monday by the daily maximum fall of 7 percent allowed by the Taiwan stock exchange, then rebounded quickly before sliding lower the rest of the session to close down 5.38 percent at NT$48.35.
Chiang Yu-mei (姜郁美), acting director-general of Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration (FDA, 衛生福利部食品藥物管理署) confirmed that Uni-President Enterprises was checked on Sunday by prosecutors, Tainan health and agriculture officials and FDA inspectors, and no problems were found.
“Existing data shows that non-edible oils went to the plant making animal feed,” she said at a press briefing.
The inspectors checked the flow of oil sold by Beei Hae to Uni-President along with the company's accounts and storage and production lines, and “no evidence of any violations of food safety laws was found as of Sunday night,” Chiang said.
The FDA, meanwhile, has asked 27 oil and fat producers with NT$30 million or more in capital to compile a list of their raw material suppliers and downstream clients by Oct. 17 as a reference for the government's ongoing investigation into the oil scandal, according to Chiang.
As of Monday, seven individuals had been detained in different cities and counties in connection with the scandal.
台北 - 食品加工機統一企業股份有限公司（統一企業）開設了飼料廠和食用油罐在台南的大門向媒體週一以保護自己的形象也被牽連在食用油恐慌被夾住後，該國。