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Tainted oil scandal: the results after the probe

The recent waste oil scandal has spread to the animal feed industry, with the agriculture council finding toxic chemicals in Ching Wei Co animal feed

The Council of Agriculture (COA) recently announced the results of its probe into products produced by animal feed manufacturer Ching Wei Co, which allegedly purchased lard from the same unlicensed factory owned by Kuo Lieh-cheng.

They revealed that all 14 animal feed oil products tested contained polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a known carcinogen, and seven showed acid values higher than legal standards.

The council launched an investigation on Friday last week, which sampled eight animal oil products from Ching Wei's eight oil tanks, including animal fat, imported butter, fish and palm oil, as well as six types of stock oils from the animal feed manufacturer's downstream companies, used in the manufacturing of five kinds of animal feed.

The results showed that all 14 samples conformed to Chinese National Standards (CNS). However, three of the 13 samples tested for heavy metals contained lead exceeding the Sanitation Standard for Edible Oils and Fats stipulated by the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Although none of the five feed products manufactured by Ching Wei's downstream companies exceeded the maximum levels of lead, arsenic or mercury in EU regulations, and all 14 oil products contained aflatoxin levels lower than that legally permitted, all 14 samples were positive for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a UN-listed carcinogen and a non-biodegradable persistent organic pollutant on the Environmental Protection Agency's list of type A toxic substances.

Animal Husbandry Department Deputy Director Chu Ching-cheng said the fact that all 14 products tested positive on PAHs showed that there is still much room for improvement for the department, as the substance should not appear in oil for either human or animal consumption, and the council would consult specialists on why the carcinogen exists in the oil samples he said.

Meanwhile, the Pingtung County Government yesterday said that Ching Wei had imported over 1,200 tonnes of tallow for animal feed use from Australia in April and products from Ching Wei may have been bought by Cheng I Food Co under the Ting Hsin International Group.

The boss of a company whose tainted oils have triggered one of the biggest food product recalls ever in Taiwan was detained 13 September, with the Pingtung District Court ordering Yeh Wen-hsiang, chairman of Chang Guann Co be detained to prevent him from possibly colluding with witnesses and other suspects, destroying evidence and fleeing the country, prosecutors said. Yeh's detention on alleged fraud and violations of the food safety law came after a two-hour debate between the prosecutors and the suspect's attorney early in the morning.

Source: Taipei Times


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