The Food Safety Department stated that the company will have to give an explanation this week.
Local newspapers found customs declaration documents showing that from June to December 2015, Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam imported input materials from China – Instant Oolong tea powder SUN60. This has raised doubts that Oo Long tea plus is made of materials from China while it is advertised as having ‘Japanese quality’.
“OTPP is just a product of imagination,” said Dr Nguyen Duy Thinh from the Institute of Biotechnology and Food, an arm of the Hanoi University of Technology.
OTPP, contained in Oo Long Tea Plus, has been advertised by Suntory PepsiCo as a substance that helps restrict the absorption of fat.
|Oo Long Tea Plus is advertised as having 'Japanese quality'
“I have not heard about any compound called OTPP in my life,” Thinh said.The expert thinks that OTPP could be Oo Long + Tea + Polymerized Polyphenols, while Polymerized Polyphenols is a kind of antioxidant which exists in all varieties of tea.
As such, OTPP was only created to attract Vietnamese customers.
Commenting about the information that the materials for making Oo Long tea are from China, Vuong Ngoc Tuan, deputy secretary general of the Association for Standards and Consumers’ Protection, said Vietnamese always have antipathy for the products sourced from China.
In fact, Tuan said, not all products from China are toxic, and not all products made of materials from China are bad.
He went on to say that it is the job of the Food Safety Agency to clarify the matter and make public its conclusion.
Meanwhile, an analyst said he does not intend to argue if Oo Long Tea Plus is good or bad, and Suntory PepsiCo must be punished not because it made Oo Long tea of Chinese materials, but because of vague advertisements, which led to misunderstanding.
Tuan agrees that in principle, manufacturers must give true information about their products, while the ads which lead to misunderstandings must not be accepted.
Nguyen Thanh Phong, head of the Ministry of Health’s Food Safety Agency on January 27, said that the agency sent a dispatch to Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam requesting to give detailed information about the product.
Phong also said that the Ministry of Health will inspect the factories of Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam.
PepsiCo Vietnam will have to submit a report this week as requested, while the Food Safety Agency will hold a press conference on the investigation result.
Meanwhile, the manufacturer remains silent despite criticism.