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4 inspections confirmed Taisun's tainted oil: FDA

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday said that four separate inspections by officials confirmed that grapeseed oil made by Taisun Enterprise Co. (泰山) contained the prohibited food additive copper chlorophyllin complex.

Taisun Chairman Chan Yueh-lin questioned the method used by the FDA to test for copper chlorophyllin complex, claiming the procedure can only confirm the presence, but not the amount, of copper chlorophyllin inside the oil.

The FDA yesterday displayed the three types of equipment used by its agents to test for gossypol, fatty acids and copper chlorophyllin complex.

Deputy Director of the FDA Chiang Yu-mei (姜郁美) said that the FDA's testing procedure for copper chlorophyllin complex was approved by international experts.

“The FDA respects Taisun's statement,” said Chiang. “However, if the company questions the FDA's method, it can publish the inspection reports for a public discussion.”

FDA official Shih Yang-chih (施養志) said that samples of each of Taisun's grapeseed oils were tested at least four times.

“The FDA did not just test one type of Taisun's grapeseed oils; almost all of Taisun's grapeseed oil products were discovered to contain copper chlorophyllin complex,” said Shih.

“The regulations clearly state that copper chlorophyllin complex is not allowed as an additive in cooking oils,” said Shih. “Therefore, if the FDA discovers the presence of copper chlorophyllin complex (in a commercial product), regardless of the amount, it is against regulations.”

Shih said that the laboratory did test if the cooking oil contained any amount of copper before running a test to make sure if the cooking oil contained copper chlorophyllin complex.

“These two tests are completely different, and the FDA was able to confirm that Taisun's grapeseed oils do have copper chlorophyllin complex,” said Shih.

According to the Standards for Specification, Scope, Application and Limitation of Food Additives, sodium copper chlorophyllin and copper chlorophyllin complex can only be added into gum, dried seaweed, processed vegetables and fruits, baked goods, jelly, jams and drinks.

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