Japanese food poisoning causes police investigation

Police probing starts after company disregards proper testing procedures.

by: Shaina Herman | 08 Jan 2014
Food poisoning from pesticide

Highly contaminated frozen food products have caused hundreds, and growing, of cases of severe food poisoning after consumers ingest a toxic pesticide.

‘Shoppers (in Japan) have reported vomiting, diarrhoea and other symptoms of food poisoning after eating food produced at a plant in Gunma, north of Tokyo, according to surveys carried out by the Asahi Shimbun and other local media.’ read the full News24 story.

Following yesterday’s story, police have begun investigations.

According to Bloomberg.com the pesticides found in the contaminated frozen goods were 2.6 million times the allowed levels.

The US  National Pesticide Information Center fact sheet reveals that pesticide malathion is used to shut down the nervous systems of insects and pests that destroy crops.   In humans, if overdosed, malathion passes through the kidneys and liver and affects the nervous system, but can be removed quickly by the body and does not often lead to death.    

Health officials were forced to send the matter to local police as they found no proof of the pesticide at the facility.  

 ‘Some croquettes made at the Gunma factory had 26,000 parts per million of pesticide malathion, compared with the permitted level of 0.01 ppm,’ the official said without identifying themselves.

Ichiro Gohara, a spokesman for Maruha Nichiro Holdings spoke to Bloomberg reporters , ‘We test products several times a day for evidence of spoilage, based on the law, but we had no reason to believe pesticides would be present, so we didn’t test for that,' Ichiro Gohara, a spokesman for the company, said by phone, and continued, 'Until now, we haven’t received any reports of problems’.

The case continues as over 800 Japanese citizens have been affected.


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