50 Lan results not mixed up: MHW
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.”
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.