Japanese authorities conducted searches at Kobayashi Pharma factories after mass poisoning of dietary supplements

Japanese authorities conducted searches at Kobayashi Pharma factories after mass poisoning of dietary supplements

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Officials from the Japanese Ministry of Health conducted searches at two Kobayashi Pharmaceutical factories after mass poisoning of the population with the company’s dietary supplements, reports Reuters. At the moment, there are already 5 deaths and 114 cases of hospitalization of people who took these dietary supplements.

On March 26, it became known about the death of a person who used the Beni-Koji Cholesterol Help dietary supplement. Kobayashi Pharmaceutical said the deceased had been using dietary supplements continuously from April 2021 to February 2024. The next day, representatives of Kobayashi Pharmaceutical at a meeting with the Japanese Ministry of Health reported about the death of two people. Following this, the authorities of the city of Osaka, where the company’s headquarters are located, were instructed to destroy the products.

On Saturday, searches took place at the plant in Wakayama Prefecture, and today in Osaka. The company itself said it found potentially toxic puberulic acid, which could be produced by blue mold, in Beni-Koji samples produced between April and October last year at the Osaka factory. The Osaka factory itself was closed in December due to aging equipment. Kobayashi Pharma officials said they are fully cooperating with the investigation “to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.”

Kobayashi Pharma announced the recall of eight red yeast rice supplements only on March 22, and cases of kidney disease among consumers of its products have been known since January, the Japanese government says. At the same time, the company’s dietary supplements were also sold in other countries.

According to local media reports, a case of acute kidney failure has already been reported in Thailand, which may be associated with Kobayashi Pharma products. Thai authorities are conducting an investigation.

South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety issued a list of 182 recalled Japanese products made by Kobayashi and other companies containing red yeast rice and asked consumers not to buy the products online.

The Chinese Consumer Association urged citizens not to buy potentially dangerous products, saying it was aware of the dangers of Kobayashi’s products.

Kirill Sarkhanyants

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