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Two Italian olive oil shipments fail to pass inspection standards

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Reports indicate that two shipments of olive oil from an Italian company have been barred from store shelves after failing to pass inspection standards.

Inspection revealed that the shipments of olive oil contained excessive amounts of chlorophyllin, and has been banned by health regulators. In addition, all olive oil from the same company will face reassessment and testing.

The two shipments of olive oil, weighted at 1,649 kg and 2,198 kg, originated from the Italian supplier Speroni and are now slated for destruction by authorities.

Since the outbreak of the tainted cooking oil scandal last year, an Italian and a Spanish exporter's products have been barred from the Taiwan market due to excessive traces of chlorophyllin, a banned food additive. Following this, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Ministry of Health and Welfare stated that no international trade disputes have arisen from the banning of European imports, and that relations remain amicable. The FDA stated that it has consulted its counterparts in the European Union, and was not met with resistance in negotiations on Taiwan's national policy of banning cooking oils containing excessive traces of chlorophyllin. The FDA stated that while they agree with the European Union's ruling that chlorophyllin may be used as a food additive, its use remains prohibited for cooking oils.

The FDA added that while there are no internationally accepted guidelines governing the use of chlorophyllin in cooking oils, it will continue to base its ruling on precedents set by the case of Tatung Changchi Foodstuff Factory Co.'s tainted oil (大統長基食品) last year.

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