MISSING SEAFOOD: The FDA said Ciaoaibo International and Yuetzu International will be fined NT$98.4 million and NT$18.4 million for breaches of food safety regulations
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporter
Eight shipments of crabs imported from China have failed dioxin tests this year, the Food and Drug Administration （FDA） said yesterday, adding that two companies face combined fines of more than NT$100 million （US$3.25 million）.
The FDA last week reported that 14.954 tonnes of hairy crabs — also known as Chinese mitten crabs, a seasonal delicacy in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China — imported in three batches from China were found to exceed minimum dioxin standards.
Two batches were imported from Anhui and Jiangxi provinces by Ciaoaibo International Enterprises （喬艾舶國際企業）, and the other was imported from Anhui Province by Youfong Enterprises （侑豐企業）, the FDA said.
The crabs were found to have residual dioxin and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls （DL-PCB） exceeding maximum allowable residue levels of 3.5 picograms per gram for dioxin and 6.5 picograms per gram for DL-PCB, the agency said.
About 3.5 tonnes imported by Ciaoaibo International are missing, possibly sold illegally before the inspection results were completed, it said.
The FDA said it has conducted special inspections of imported crabs in cooperation with the Coast Guard Administration, the Seventh Special Police Corps and local health bureaus, which found five previous batches of dioxin-contaminated crabs, with a combined weight of about 25.3 tonnes.
Two batches from Zhejiang Province and one from Jiangxi Province were imported by Ciaoaibo International, one batch imported by Youfong was from Anhui Province and one batch was imported by Yuetzu International Trading Co （約諮國際貿易） from Hunan Province, the FDA said.
About 5.8 tonnes imported by Ciaoaibo International or Yuetzu International are also missing, it said.
The FDA said that it has inspected 42 batches of hairy crabs from China so far this year, with eight batches （40.2765 tonnes） exceeding allowable levels of dioxin and DL-PCB, while 9.3126 tonnes were unaccounted for.
FDA Northern Center Deputy Director Cheng Wei-chih （鄭維智） said the missing crabs were being traced and the case is being handled by prosecutors.
The FDA will fine Ciaoaibo International NT$98.4 million and Yuetzu International NT$18.4 million for breaches of the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation （食品安全衛生管理法）, Cheng said, adding that companies found to have broken the law would be dealt with strictly.
Cheng Wei-chih, deputy director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Northern Center, speaks at a news conference in Taipei yesterday. Photo: CNA
Hairy crabs imported from China and confiscated by the Coast Guard Administration’s Keelung Patrol Office sit in a crate on Thursday. Photo courtesy of the Food and Drug Administration