Sunsuivi apologizes for selling Vietnam rice as local
By Joy Lee, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Rice seller Sunsuivi (山水米) yesterday apologized for mislabeling imported Vietnamese rice as being locally grown.
August 28, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
Some 50,000 packages of mislabeled rice have been sold.
Sunsuivi, one of the three top-selling rice brands in Taiwan, sold the rice with labels boasting that the product is home grown, but it was actually poor-quality rice imported from Vietnam.
Lee Tung-chao (李東朝), the chairman of Sunsuivi, said that the mislabeling was the result of negligence by management while the product was being processed.
“Customers who have bought this specific type of rice can return to the store where they made the purchase and exchange it for a different type of rice upon presenting a receipt,” said Lee.
“Sunsuivi will also turn in samples of other rice products to the authorities for inspection.
“All the mislabeled products will be taken off shelves immediately.”
Agriculture and Food Agency (AFA) deputy chief Chen Chien-bin (陳建斌) said that Sunsuivi has been fined NT$200,000 for mislabeling its products, in accordance with the Food Administration Act.
“The AFA has given the rice seller a month to correct the mistake,” Chen said, “and if no improvement is made, Sunsuivi's food manufacturing license will be revoked.”
“All the products manufactured by Sunsuivi will also be inspected by the AFA as well as other packaged rice.”
Sunsuivi CEO Tsai Chung-hsin (蔡寵信) said that the company intends to produce locally grown rice, but when the recipe was changed, the company did not notice that the package was not modified.
According to Sunsuivi, the mislabeled packages of rice were launched in late June and were sold in the three major supermarket chains nationwide.
Representatives from the Cabinet's Consumer Protection Commission visited Sunsuivi's office in Miaoli County and demanded the company propose a plan to compensate customers who bought the mislabeled rice.
Wu Cheng-hsueh (吳政學), a representative for the Consumer Protection Commission, said that Sunsuivi's explanation about accidentally mislabeling the product is unlikely to convince the public.
The company should come up with a better form of compensation other than allowing customers to exchange their products, Wu said.