September 22, 2008

Japan to Return or Discard Tainted Rice

Tokyo, Sept. 22 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government said Monday it will return to exporting countries or discard any imported rice found to be contaminated and unsuitable for use in food.

The government will apply the measure to imported rice that is moldly or contains higher levels of pesticide residue than allowed under the Food Sanitation Law.

In addition, the government will stop selling and get rid of tainted rice that cannot be used for food and is currently stored, except for rice with light damage such as dampness.

The decision was made after the recent revelations that pesticide- tainted or moldy rice bought from the government for industrial use was improperly resold for food use.

To prevent any recurrence of the use of tainted rice for food, the government is considering creating a system to trace rice distribution networks and label the origin of rice used in related products.

On Monday, the government made public the names of 12 companies that bought pesticide-tainted or moldy rice distributed through a rice wholesaler in Mie Prefecture after procurement from Nagoya- based food processor Asai.

The government has already disclosed information on 390 companies dealing with contaminated rice resold by Osaka-based food processor Mikasa Foods as well as two firms that made purchases through the sales channels of Ota Sangyo in Aichi Prefecture.END

(c) 2008 Jiji Press English News Service. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.