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Group finds 16 more mislabeled products

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Consumers' Foundation (消基會) yesterday released a list of 16 mislabeled produ cts that do not contain the advertised ingredients, the result of a random sampling test at supermarkets and shops.

Following a series of revelations of food safety violations in recent years, ranging from the plasticizer scandal of 2011 and this year's cooking oil scare, the Consumers' Foundation has continued its efforts to ensure the safety of foods consumed by the people of Taiwan.

Products listed by the watchdog organization include candies, crackers, instant noodles, beverages, frozen foods and instant noodles. The organization found that these products all bore names and packaging featuring specific ingredients; however, testing revealed none of them contained any traces of the advertised substances. Examples of misleadingly labeled products include strawberry chocolates that contained no traces of strawberries nor chocolates, egg pudding that contained no eggs, fruit tofu that contained no fruit, and shrimp balls that are not made out of shrimp.

The organization also found that a number of fruit juices made from concentrates are still being made without keywords indicating their manufacturing process. According to regulations, such products must clearly indicate that they are fruit flavored and not entirely made from pressed fruits, said the watchdog group. Most beverages with fruit printed on their labels are mostly comprised of food coloring, sugar, and flavorings. The organizations reminded businesses that products violating the terms stipulations by the Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法) may face mandatory recall.

Most notably, the organization stated that from the little information printed on products' packages, it is difficult to deduce how its flavors are achieved. In this vein, the organization questioned food company Laurel (桂冠) over how the shrimp flavor of its shrimp ball products are achieved if they are not made out of shrimp.

The organization urged governing bodies to step up regulations relating to the packaging representation of products and food safety standards for the interest of the public.

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This photo shows a carton of egg pudding, an item included in a list of mislabeled food products announced by the Consumers' Foundation in Taipei, yesterday. The Consumers' Foundation stated that it has uncovered a list of 16 products with misleading packaging as they did not contain advertised ingredients. (CNA)

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