Qian Hsin in­dicted for adding car­cino­gen

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY JOHN LIU

Own­ers of Qian Hsin En­ter­prise ( ), a Tainan­based emul­si­fiers pro­ducer, were in­dicted by pros­e­cu­tors on charges of fraud and vi­o­la­tions against the Act Gov­ern­ing Food Safety and San­i­ta­tion yes­ter­day for adding chem­i­cal com­pounds harm­ful to the hu­man body.

The Changhua Dis­trict Pros­e­cu­tors Of­fice is seek­ing 20-year and 18-year prison terms for fa­ther and son, Lu Tian-rong (

) and Lu Jia-qian ( ), in ad­di­tion to a NT$20 mil­lion fine. Pros­e­cu­tors also re­quest that they re­turn il­le­gal gains of NT$25.2 mil­lion.

The two were ac­cused of adding in­dus­trial dye dimethyl yel­low and di­ethyl yel­low, as well as sul­fu­ric acid and sur­fac­tant, which are for­bid­den, into emul­si­fiers be­tween 2008 and 2014.

The in­gre­di­ent dimethyl yel­low, which is con­sid­ered a car­cino­gen, was added by the sus­pects to make food prod­ucts such as tofu skin look nicer and more tasty.

Emul­si­fiers are used in the pro­duc­tion for a va­ri­ety of bean prod­ucts, such as bean curds and soy milk. The lat­est food scan­dal is be­lieved to have wide ram­i­fi­ca­tions in the food in­dus­try.

A Dis­re­gard for Pub­lic Health

The ac­cused are well aware that bean prod­ucts are widely con­sumed by the pub­lic as well as over­seas con­sumers. Nev­er­the­less, they added car­cino­gens to emul­si­fiers to reap higher prof­its, dis­re­gard­ing food reg­u­la­tions and the pub­lic’s health, pros­e­cu­tors said.

The tainted emul­si­fiers have been used by rep­utable food com­pa­nies, which are ex­pected to suf­fer great mon­e­tary losses and dam­age to their brand im­age be­cause of the in­ci­dent, said lead pros­e­cu­tor Huang Zhi- yong ( ).

Since the sus­pects have not been straight­for­ward dur­ing in­ter­ro­ga­tion, and have de­nied any wrong­do­ing, pros­e­cu­tors have sought heav­ier penal­ties.

The scan­dal sur­faced after Te Chang Food’s ( ) pep­per­fla­vored dried tofu was found to con­tain dimethyl yel­low by the Cen­ter for Food Safety in Hong Kong. The Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion later traced the harm­ful chem­i­cal com­pound to Qian Hsin En­ter­prise.

Pros­e­cu­tors De­cide Not to

Charge Tri­pod King

In another food scan­dal, the Taipei Dis­trict Pros­e­cu­tors Of­fice an­nounced yes­ter­day that it will not charge Tri­pod King ( ), a very well-known spicy hot­pot restau­rant in Tai­wan.

Ac­cord­ing to a Next Mag­a­zine’s re­port, Tri­pod King uses fla­vor en­hancer MSG, bone pow­ders and dozens of other food pow­ders to pre­pare its base soup, in­stead of Chi­nese herbs, fruits and vegetables as claimed by the restau­rant.

While Next Mag­a­zine be­lieves that the restau­rant’s false claim con­sti­tutes fraud, pros­e­cu­tors con­sider it disin­gen­u­ous ad­ver­tise­ment, and de­cided not to charge Tri­pod King founder Chen Shu-ming ( ).

Pros­e­cu­tors ex­plained that the restau­rant has in­deed cooked its base soup with Chi­nese herbs, fruits and vegetables. Although Tri­pod King has used ar­ti­fi­cial fla­vors, it never claimed that its in­gre­di­ents are 100 per­cent nat­u­ral, said pros­e­cu­tors.

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