Dumplings contain no traces of pesticide

By Zhu Zhe (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-02-01 07:19

No harmful chemicals were found in samples of frozen dumpling exports blamed for a food poisoning incident in Japan, Chinese authorities said Thursday.

"Our investigations and tests found no trace of pesticide remains in the dumplings," Wang Daning, director of the export and import food safety bureau of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), told a press conference Thursday in Beijing.

Japanese media reported on Wednesday that at least 10 people from three families in Hyogo and Chiba prefectures had stomachache, vomiting or diarrhea after eating the frozen dumplings made by Tianyang Food Processing of Hebei.

The dumplings were contaminated with traces of an organic phosphorus insecticide called methamidophos, Japanese officials were quoted as saying. They said the problems involved two batches of dumplings made on Oct 1 and Oct 20.

But Wang said tests had been carried out on raw materials like ginger and cabbage used in the dumplings before export, which showed the products were safe.

After the incident, Chinese authorities conducted tests on remaining samples of the two batches of dumplings but found no harmful chemicals either, he said.

Wang said the Japanese side reported to the AQSIQ yesterday that pesticide remains were found only in the victims' vomit and packages of the dumplings that they had eaten, but not in others from the same batches.

However, as a precautionary measure, the government had ordered Tianyang Food Processing to halt production and exports, AQSIQ spokesman Liu Deping said. The company has been ordered to recall all its products from both domestic and foreign markets.

In response to a question about the possibility of someone deliberately injecting poison, Wang said all possibilities remain open.

He said police from both countries had intervened in the case, and an investigation team will leave China for Japan today or tomorrow.

"We have agreed not to release any subjective judgment before a final result," Wang said.

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