Over 1,000 ill as Japan tainted food scandal widens

Picture expired. Packages of frozen foods produced by Japanese firm Maruha Nichiro Holdings' subsidiary Aqli Foods, December 31, 2013. More than 300 people across Japan have fallen ill after eating products from the company contaminated with pesticide AFP

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  • -14

    Tom Thompson

    i am sure china is happy

  • 5

    Tessa

    "food standards are relatively high" that made me smirk! Not "very high," just relatively high.

  • 0

    SenseNotSoCommon

    Here we go!

  • 0

    wildwest

    Terrible news, I hope the authorities find out the motivation for what seems to me a malicious attach on innocent peoples food. I tend to buy fresh food but frozen food vegetables can be better quality value and helpful for busy people trying to stay healthy at certain times of the year.

  • 2

    CrazyJoe

    Food safety is an issue that consumers care about most, and it is a serious problem that erodes the brand image.

  • 14

    kurisupisu

    Chemicals,radiation and lack of information as to food origin make shopping in Japan akin to walking through a minefield......

  • -1

    Disillusioned

    The article states which part of the process the pesticide was added, but does not say anything about how or why? Was it done by some malicious psycho or is it standard procedure to add these chemicals and they just added too much? I'm so glad I don't eat this 'bento food'. These foods are staples in many kids' lunch boxes. C'mon japan! Lift your bloody game! How many of these food scandals occur every year? It's a flipping disgrace!

  • 0

    papigiulio

    Tom, China has nothing to do with it, you could've known if you had actually read the article.

  • 2

    Himajin

    The employees have to change into clothes without pockets before going on the line, right now they don't know how anyone could bring the pesticide in.

  • -13

    Onniyama

    No surprise really. Japan is the largest user of pesticides in the world. Better off getting your food from China.

  • -2

    gaijintraveller

    And food produced in China is checked by quarantine and customs whereas Japanese food is checked by J.A. Which is more likely to find fault in a product?

  • 5

    kimuzukashiiiii

    350 that we know of. A close friend and her family ate the pie sheets and they all got sickness and diarrhea after. Shes been trying to call the helpline for 4 DAYS now but its constantly busy. How about a contact number JT?

  • 1

    SenseNotSoCommon

    concentration of the pesticide in a coating of frozen croquette was 26,000 parts per million

    but the rest is pure goodness

  • -2

    Tahoochi

    DisillusionedJan. 08, 2014 - 08:12AM JST

    How many of these food scandals occur every year? It's a flipping disgrace!

    Who said this was a scandal? It would only be a scandal if the company knowingly mixed in the pesticide or knowingly shipped the bad products out.

  • 0

    TSRnow

    Ever since the contaminated spinach incident ages ago, I have been reluctant to buy frozen food. Japan or any other. My child is going to need bento from April, so I though I would try them out again, but I am having second thoughts...

  • 0

    sighclops

    it's always the prepackaged frozen stuff that hits the news. Remember the gyoza scare a few years ago?

  • 3

    kimuzukashiiiii

    TSR now - dont use that stuff for your kids. You can make perfectly good bento using the dinner leftovers from the night before, a bit of tamagoyaki or steamed veggies to fill it up!

  • 0

    Sensato

    A close friend and her family ate the pie sheets and they all got sickness and diarrhea after. Shes been trying to call the helpline for 4 DAYS now but its constantly busy. How about a contact number JT?

    @kimuzukashiiiii

    A voluntary recall notice released by Aqli Foods (link below) provides a customer support number — (0120) 690149, available from 9:00 to 5:00. It is probably inundated with calls at this point, though, but may be worth a try. (The notice also gives a separate number for the Gunma factory.)

    Frozen food items whose product label lists Agli Foods, Gunma Factory (株式会社アクリフーズ 群馬工場) as the manufacturer (製造者) are subject to the recall (see red circle on the recall notice).

    Here is the link to the recall notice: http://www.aqli.co.jp/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/news_20131229.pdf

  • -5

    Gaijin Desi

    oh decline start.... Developed Nation ------> Developing Nation -----> ?

  • 5

    ambrosia

    papigiulio: Tom, China has nothing to do with it, you could've known if you had actually read the article.

    I get that sarcasm isn't always easy to read in people's posts but do you really not get what he's trying to say? China has a reputation for having lax food safety standards which has resulted in sickening and killing people on more than one occasion - Melamine in baby formula, toxic bean sprouts, insecticide-tainted pork dumplings, etc. So far, it seems that Japan has produced this problem on its own. Thus, China will be happy to not be getting blamed. Get it?

  • -7

    WilliB

    Since this seems a problem with the orgininal products, I wonder how many more people got poisoned. And where did the food come from? I would not be surprised if it was imported from China.

  • -2

    smithinjapan

    I was wondering how long after this article hit people would bring up China or even suggest China might be to blame, as WilliB does. Turns out it didn't take Tom, ambrosia, or others very long to deflect from the fact this is a Japanese company that makes and sells the food by suggesting China might be happy about it or that their own standards are bad.

    Trust me, if China were involved in this, we would have heard about it long ago, and arrests would have been made already. I hope the police investigate this aggressively and find out the cause, and arrests are indeed made. It's either intentional poisoning, or unintentional through gross negligence -- either way it is poisoning.

  • 0

    Nessie

    it's always the prepackaged frozen stuff that hits the news. Remember the gyoza scare a few years ago?

    Not always. There was that case of kaiware daikon sprouts some years back. The sprout growers actually sued the government over being named.

    It's often prepared food, because prepared food is branded, and the motive in these cases is often to discredit a specific food manufacturer.

  • 1

    Strangerland

    Not always. There was that case of kaiware daikon sprouts some years back. The sprout growers actually sued the government over being named.

    Yeah, and this article even mentions a previous scare with cabbage.

  • 0

    MeanRingo

    Wish I had a piece of land where I could grow some of my own food.

  • 0

    ambrosia

    smithinjapan: I was wondering how long after this article hit people would bring up China or even suggest China might be to blame, as WilliB does. Turns out it didn't take Tom, ambrosia, or others very long to deflect from the fact this is a Japanese company that makes and sells the food by suggesting China might be happy about it or that their own standards are bad.

    Seriously, dude? Did you even read what I wrote? I was simply explaining to papigiulio the sarcasm behind Tom Thompson's post. I'm well aware of Japan's own history with tainted and mislabeled food products. Thanks for the lesson though. You sure schooled me.

  • -2

    Kristianna Thomas

    Food contamination occurs all over the industrialized and non-industrialized nations; which includes the US, too. Could mankind really go back to subsistence farming? I doubt if mankind could go back to the "good old days". The use of pesticides is a world wide problem and in the Gulf of Mexico there are dead zones caused by agriculture run off of. All foods manufactured has traces of pesticides on them; that is why we are told to; rinse fruits and vegetables before eating them.; although plain rinsing with water does not remove residue from foods that we all eat.

    Remember. Better living through chemistry.

  • 2

    funny car

    Please, before feeding a baby, sniff and taste it yourself first.

  • 2

    bigfujiyama

    110 people made claims to the authorities in my prefecture complaining of illness related to these items. They found no traces of pesticide in the food. Sounds like a lot of people looking for some compensation.

    Makes it more difficult for the investigators to find the real scale of the contamination.

  • 0

    kimuzukashiiiii

    over 1000 people? Thats a lot of compensation money.

    But Bigfujiyama ... do you believe the company when they said "no traces were found?" They could be lying....

    Also this is the time of year when norovirus and things are rife anyways - I suppose there will be more than a few people putting a bout of gasto + eating a croquette together and jumping to conclusions.

  • 2

    TSRnow

    kimuzukashiiiii

    TSR now - dont use that stuff for your kids. You can make perfectly good bento using the dinner leftovers from the night before, a bit of tamagoyaki or steamed veggies to fill it up!

    Leftovers are currently what my bentos are filled with, but you are right, if I kept out of the habit from year 2002, I guess I can keep it up until my kids don't need bentos.

    By the way, I saw some people's freezer contents on the news today, and some were packed solid with these frozen food. There was also a news report on a 9-month baby getting hospitalized for eating these products. Is that really because of the contamination? Or could it have been that frozen croquettes were a bit too early for a 9-month baby? I can't imagine how any mother can use these for weaning.

  • 3

    Osaka_Doug

    I stopped eating this kind of frozen food in Japan many years ago because it tasted chemical like to me. You really don't know what strange stuff is in this. After seeing the organic apple movie earlier this year, the Fukushima issues, and spending summers on a farm, I started to really feel we need to support organic farming in Japan. I hope this will encourage more consumers to support organic industries. Creating more demand for organic goods will help lower the pricing.

  • 1

    kimuzukashiiiii

    TSR - indeed!!!!!!!! I agreed, too early for a 9 month old ... I felt the same indignation "how could a mother give that crap to her child" ... until I read that it was the father and the three kids who ate them.
    Maybe a helpful daddy led astray by convenience?

    But I can relate, my hubby gave my kids all kind of crap when I wasn't looking.

  • -3

    AlexNoaburg

    I believe Japan has high standards but paradoxically this may have caused an ends justify the means scenario where pesticides are used to give that appearance. I agree with other posters, more organic food is best.

  • -1

    daito_hak

    Here is the chronology of this event as reported by the parties involved, the companies producing and selling this food and the Japanese medias:

    • The news comes out and we were told that don't worry, you need to eat a lot of this tainted food (if you can call this food, I am personally not sure) to get sick and basically no people were affected. Everything under control.

    • Then no, actually you don't need to eat a lot of it to get sick, a small amount will do it. But don't worry, no people affected, everything is under control.

    • Then no, actually there are over 1000 people who got sick from it. Everything wasn't under control after all.

    This is just incredible how these people always try to BS the world by not saying the facts straight in the first place. Japan is a joke...... But it's entertaining to watch these clowns.

  • 1

    Open Minded

    Based on the level of contaminant and variety of incriminated processed items, I cannot believe that it could come from raw material (vegetable). Malicious action need definitely to be investigated.

  • -4

    Eduardo Gonzalez

    Monsanto IS to blame, 'cuz for them, if scandals like these didn't exist, then Obama would be impeached and his re-election is "eternally impossible", bringing them their dark ages, forever

  • 1

    Vernie Jefferies

    I would never guess anyone ever getting pesticide poisoning from pancakes.

  • 0

    Dennis711

    Oh man I really like those little piazzas.

  • -5

    Disillusioned

    So, the number of people has increased to ver a thousand, so far. Obviously, some psycho has tainted these foods, but the variety and number of products effected points to a very large scale poisoning. How did the psycho get the poison into so many products?

  • 0

    funny car

    Over 1,000 ill as Japan tainted food scandal widens

    At this early juncture, its not really the scandal *people are worried about but rather the fact that the *poisonings have widened.

  • 1

    Nessie

    Oh man I really like those little piazzas.

    Eat through the pain, Dennis. ;)

  • -3

    tmarie

    I believe Japan has high standards but paradoxically this may have caused an ends justify the means scenario where pesticides are used to give that appearance. I agree with other posters, more organic food is best.

    Have you not been reading the news lately? Their "high" standards are nothing but lies and cover ups. Lord, how many food scandals have there been here in the last 10 years? How many deaths? I've lost count. Yet the sheeple continue to baa about their "high quality" and "high standards". Proof is in the pudding and the pudding is mislabeled, tainted, rotten or made from something else.

  • 1

    nigelboy

    Have you not been reading the news lately? Their "high" standards are nothing but lies and cover ups. Lord, how many food scandals have there been here in the last 10 years? How many deaths?

    For the past 16 yeears, the annual death toll average is in single digits.

    http://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/shingi/2r9852000002xk88-att/2r9852000002xkdd.pdf

  • -2

    tmarie

    Nigel, for those that get reported. Stats by the Japanese government? Laughable.

  • -2

    nigelboy

    Nigel, for those that get reported. Stats by the Japanese government? Laughable

    Yeah. You only believe the stats in which it puts Japan in a bad light.(suicides, etc). Stay consistent.

  • -3

    tmarie

    Nope. I think those stats are messed with too.

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