Date: August 07, 2015
By: Zheping Huang
The people of Taiwan and China are joining forces to fight a common enemy: food safety
failures. The catalyst? A surprise viral video shot on a tour bus full of mainland tourists in Taiwan.
The video shows a female tour guide urging the passengers—one of whom apparently took the video—to boycott the products of Tingyi Cayman Islands Holding Corp., which makes the popular Master Kong sauces and instant noodles, and had profits of $400 million last year.
What does a Taiwanese tour guide leader have against China’s largest food and beverage maker? Its Taipei-based parent company, Ting Hsin International Group. Last year Taiwan’s health ministry found that Ting Hsin had for years been cutting costs by mixing lard meant for animal feed into the cooking-oil products (paywall) it sells to consumers.
The discovery caused an uproar among Taiwanese consumers. Wei Ying-chun, one of the key executives involved, was detained last October on charges of fraud and violating trust. Prosecutors sought a 30-year jail sentence (earlier this year he was released on bail). [FULL STORY]