Newspaper article China Post

Legal Loophole Prevents Heavy Waste Oil Charges

Newspaper article China Post

Legal Loophole Prevents Heavy Waste Oil Charges

Article excerpt

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Prosecutors handling the waste oil scandal said yesterday they could not press more serious charges against the defendants because of a loophole in the food law.

The prosecutors in Pingtung Friday concluded their investigation into the oil scandal by indicting eight defendants on a total of 235 counts of fraud and violations of the food law.

For the violations of the food law, the prosecutors said they could only invoke a lesser charge that carries a maximum prison term of five years for making "fake" food products in spite of the fact that these waste oils have been found to contain toxic substances.

The food law does not define the safety levels for these toxic substances, denying the prosecution of the possibility of invoking a more serious provision punishing food makers whose products are harmful to human health, the prosecutors said, adding that the defendants could have faced a maximum jail term of seven years under the more serious charge. …

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