News portal, Yihai Kerry tangle

By Yang Jing Source:Global Times Published: 2014-5-18 23:53:01

A group of reporters pays a visit to the Kerry Oleochemical plant on Saturday. Photo: IC

News portal admitted Sunday that the gutter oil tanker mentioned in a previous report went to Yihai Kerry Group's Kerry Oleochemical Industrial (Tianjin) Co rather than Kerry Oils & Grains (Tianjin), but said the two companies are only separated by low and open barriers. reported on Wednesday that gutter oil collected from restaurants in Beijing and neighboring Hebei Province was processed and later transported by Jinzhengyang logistics company to Kerry Oils & Grains, a subsidiary of Yihai Kerry Group.

Yihai Kerry Group, an agribusiness unit of Singapore-based Wilmar International in China, released a statement on its website Friday saying that the gutter oil tanker went to Kerry Oleochemical Industrial Co, a chemical processor of waste oil, but the report mistook it for oil processor Kerry Oils & Grains which is located right next to Kerry Oleochemical.

Yihai Kerry Group has already asked to correct their report and clarify the issue to the public.

The group has already filed a lawsuit against and its owner Co Ltd, according to the statement.

The group is demanding 100 million yuan ($16 million) from as compensation for damage to the group's reputation, a staff member of Yihai Kerry, who asked not to be named, told the Global Times Sunday.

In a related development, four reporters from were attacked when they went to interview Shijiazhuang Xinhai oil company, which is the waste oil supplier of Kerry Oleochemical, reported Sunday.

The four reporters were interviewing people outside the factory site when four men came out of the factory, attacked the reporters and took away their mobile phones and cameras, the report said. Two of the attackers were arrested but the other two ran away.

As one of the largest grain and oil processors in China, Yihai Kerry Group is best known for its dominant cooking oil brand Arowana, which reportedly has about a 45 percent share of the Chinese market.

Besides supplying cooking oil to consumers, the group is also a major domestic supplier of oil used to make instant noodles.

The report caused heated discussions and raised concerns on related food safety.

In a bid to prove its innocence, Yihai Kerry Group invited reporters from several media outlets to the two sites in Tianjin Saturday and showed how Kerry Oleochemical uses gutter oil as an ingredient to manufacture soap and other industrial products, according to an e-mail sent by the company to the Global Times Sunday.

Tianjin Food and Drug Administration's branch in Binhai New Area conducted an investigation on the two sites after the gutter oil report and released an investigation report Friday.

According to a copy of an investigation report sent to the Global Times Sunday, the local administration said Kerry Oils & Grains' waste material is used by neighbor Kerry Oleochemical in a one-way supply chain.

However, also questioned Sunday whether the edible oil will be polluted considering the gutter oil traced in the report was transported in a truck tanker labeled as "edible oil." 

Gutter oil, which is used oil collected from restaurants' waste, sometimes literally from gutters, and can end up back on diners' tables after industrial processing, has been the public's top concern regarding food safety in China in recent years.

Posted in: Companies

blog comments powered by Disqus