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Archive for the ‘Nichirei Foods Inc’ Category

China Food Import Alert

Posted by feww on October 18, 2008

Tainted beans from China sicken three in Japan

Frozen green imports had high level of insecticide

(Kyodo News) An extremely high concentration of insecticide has been detected in frozen green beans imported from China, causing a woman in the Tokyo suburb of Hachioji and two other people in Chiba Prefecture to fall ill, reports said Wednesday.

The 56-year-old woman bought the beans Saturday and ate some of them Sunday, the Hachioji health department said. She started vomiting from the foul taste and smell and later experienced numbness in her mouth and more nausea.

The city of Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, said later Wednesday that two people experienced numbness of the tongue after eating beans from a package with the same lot number as the one in the Hachioji case. Police seized the remaining beans from the Kashiwa incident and were conducting checks.

The Hachioji health department said it detected 6,900 parts per million of the organophosphate insecticide dichlorvos in the beans, which is 34,500 times the government standard for imports.


A bag of green beans similar to the one that contained an extremely high level of insecticide dichlorvos. Photo:  Tokyo Metropolitan Government handout.

At that concentration, which the ministry said is nearly equal to an undiluted solution of the insecticide, eating just 0.07 gram of the beans could be enough to trigger acute symptoms in a 60-kg person, it said.

The beans were manufactured by Yantai Beihai Foodstuff Co. in Shandong Province and imported by Tokyo-based Nichirei Foods Inc. for sale under the Ingen brand.

Prime Minister Taro Aso told reporters Wednesday that Tokyo will ask Beijing to work to improve the safety of exported food products from China. “(Food) products from China have caused problems in many places (for about a year),” he said.

This is not Yantai Beihai’s first tainted product. The ministry said it also detected unacceptable levels of the insecticide chlorpyrifos in another frozen bean product made by the company in 2002 that was exported to Japan. Although the concentration was 0.15 ppm, a level that shouldn’t cause immediate health problems in humans, the product had to be destroyed, it said.

A total of 265 tons of the frozen green beans have been imported in the past year. The government is warning consumers not to eat them and asking distributors to halt sales of the product until it can confirm what made the consumers sick. Quarantine offices nationwide have been ordered to halt import procedures for all food products from the Chinese company.

Frozen “gyoza” (dumplings) from China tainted with the agrochemical methamidophos sickened three families earlier this year in Chiba and Hyogo prefectures. It was later revealed that gyoza made by the same Chinese firm, containing the same pesticide, caused a food poisoning outbreak in China over the summer that Beijing authorities initially urged Japan not to report. Copyright Kyodo News

Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has revealed that high concentrations of dichlorvos have been detected in foods imported from China on 14 different occasions since 2000. The contaminated products included  matsutake mushrooms, nonglutinous rice, vegetables, corn, frozen strawberries, dumplings and and herbal medicines.

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