50 Lan re­sults not mixed up: MHW

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY STEPHANIE CHAO

Health Min­is­ter Chi­ang Been­huang ( ) said yes­ter­day that batches of tea leaves used by the 50 Lan (50 ) tea com­pany in Tainan and Taichung came from dif­fer­ent sup­pli­ers, in re­sponse to crit­i­cism af­ter find­ings from an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into 50 Lan’s “Four Sea­son Spring Tea” bev­er­age in the two ar­eas were an­nounced on Mon­day, which found that some batches of tea leaves were not safe for con­sump­tion.

The Tainan Health Bureau an­nounced that tea leaves used by 50 Lan and Sanch­ing Tea Man­u­fac­turer ( ), which were said to be tainted, had all passed ex­am­i­na­tion the day be­fore. How­ever, a reeval­u­a­tion will be car­ried out on Taichung’s tea leaves, af­ter some batches failed ex­am­i­na­tion.

The health min­is­ter re­sponded to the news re­ports and crit­i­cism lev­eled against his min­istry’s com­pe­tence in car­ry­ing out the ex­am­i­na­tion of the tea leaves. Chi­ang said that since both batches orig­i­nated from dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions, it was pos­si­ble that they would have dif­fer­ent re­sults.

“Tea leaves are prod­ucts that are likely to get mixed up dur­ing the pro­duc­tion process. This could lead to dif­fer­ing re­sults af­ter ex­am­i­na­tion,” the min­is­ter said.

50 Lan has sent the Taichung batch that didn’t pass ex­am­i­na­tion back to the city’s health bureau, re­quest­ing that it be re­ex­am­ined.

If 50 Lan still wants to con­tinue sell­ing its Four Sea­sons drinks, the com­pany’s Taichung head­quar­ters will need to present proof that tea leaves used for the prod­uct passed ex­am­i­na­tion, Liu Fang-ming (

) of the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s (FDA, ) South Man­age­ment Cen­ter said.

Liu said that only un­con­tam­i­nated bev­er­ages and bev­er­ages that have been cleared af­ter ex­am­i­na­tion can be sold.

“When the re­sults of the Taichung rein­ves­ti­ga­tion come out, things will be­come a lot clearer.”

Liu said.

Ja­pan Ra­di­a­tion, Toxic As­para­gus

Chi­ang also ad­dressed re­cent re­ports that cus­toms of­fi­cials and food im­porters col­luded to al­low food im­ports from Ja­panese ra­di­a­tion-re­stricted ar­eas into Tai­wan.

Seafood prod­ucts and toxic as­para­gus were among the il­le­gal food im­ports. The min­is­ter said that this was a mat­ter of in­com­pe­tent man­age­ment by Tai­wan Taoyuan In­ter­na­tional Air­port and the lo­cal health bureau.

The Health and Wel­fare Min­istry will over­see op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dures and clar­ify whether any care­less mis­takes were com­mit­ted.

“As of now, it looks like there were no de­vi­a­tions from pro­ce­dure. If there were, it would have to be down to hu­man-re­lated er­ror,” Chi­ang said.

FDA Chief Sec­re­tary Lo Chi­fang ( ) agreed, say­ing that im­ports into Tai­wan un­dergo strict cus­toms checks, and hu­man-re­lated er­ror might in­clude peo­ple il­le­gally sell­ing prob­lem­atic prod­ucts.

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