Embroiled Top Pot Bakery to reopen Aug. 27
By Joy Lee, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Top Pot Bakery yesterday announced its intention to temporarily close for three days in order to adjust the company's products after being fined for false advertisement.
August 25, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
The Taipei City Department of Health (DOH) handed Top Pot Bakery a fine of NT$180,000 on Aug. 22 for adding essences into its bread while the bakery business boasted of bread made with natural ingredients and zero flavoring essences.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday said that this incident is a case of fraud, so the Taipei City Government has requested the Department of Legal Affairs to collect evidence of Top Pot Bakery's false advertisement in order to bring this case to prosecutors.
General Manager of Top Pot Bakery Hsu Chih-hung (徐志鴻) yesterday said that the bakery will be closed for three days and be reopened on Aug. 27, which will give the company time to make adjustments to their products.
“The company will discuss with the consumer ombudsman about how to take care of consumers' demands to return the products and make an official announcement on Aug. 26,” said Hsu.
Hsu also made a promise that all the ingredients contained in the products sold by the bakery will be clearly labeled.
According to Hsu, after the incident took place earlier this week, the sales of the bakery dropped by nearly 50 percent in two days.
The Tainan City Government Department of Health also launched an investigation into Top Pot Bakery over the artificial essences being added in the bread, as nine flavored essences -- longan, maple syrup, lychee, chocolate, earl grey tea jam, red wine jam, lemon yogurt jam, blueberry and, raspberry -- were discovered being used in the bakery's Taipei branches.
Tainan's DOH said that even though the usage of these essences is not illegal, the bakery will still be fined for false labeling of products.
Top Pot Bakery was revealed by a Hong Kong customer in a blog on Aug. 17 to be using flavoring essences in its bread, but the bakery made a public statement to argue that the flavoring essences they use are made from “natural” elements.
After the inspection on Aug. 22, Consumer Ombudsman of Taipei City Pan Hung-cheng (潘宏政) declared that Top Pot claimed the bread to be additive-free despite the usage of processed flavoring essences, which is false advertising and misleading to customers.
According to the ombudsman, the business is required to propose a proper solution to deal with the dispute, such as granting refunds to customers above and beyond what is required under Article 22 of the Consumer Protection Law.