- Published on Thursday, 14 February 2008 14:28
China has dismissed a report by Japan's Kyodo News agency citing a local Chinese official who said poor work conditions may have prompted workers to poison the methamidophos-tainted Chinese dumplings which has sickened at least 10 people in Japan.
The deputy head of the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision (AQSIQ), Wei Chuanzhong, reiterated at a Beijing press conference that investigations by the agency and police have found nothing unusual at the Tianyang Food Processing Ltd. dumpling factory in Hebei province, who produced the dumplings.
Wei said, "Local police confirmed that they found nothing unusual in the producing process. It would be almost impossible for somebody to bring a poisonous substance into the factory. It's also almost impossible the contamination could happen during the production process.
"The interests of the workers are closely tied to the Japanese importer, so there is no reason for them to sabotage the products.”
Tianyang has been exporting to Japan for 10 years and the Chinese workers are very friendly to the country, he added, saying that moreover, salaries at the company are much higher than the local average.
Wei, in expressing hope that both countries could form a joint team to conduct a thorough investigation on all possible processes, added that Japan had yet to provide China with any samples of the dumplings which sickened the Japanese consumers.
He said that no vomit samples, test reports or related evidences were provided either.
China and Japan have sent teams of investigators to each other's country in recent days to determine the cause of the methamidophos contamination.
Chinese newspaper The China Daily reported that an AQSIQ investigation found no loopholes in raw material purchasing and dumpling production, consistent with the Japanese's conclusion.
Japanese investigators who conducted a half-day inspection tour at the Chinese factory earlier in February also said that they had not detected any abnormality in the factory, the paper reported.
Second pesticide detected in dumplings
The press conference was held a week after retailer Japanese Consumer’s Cooperative Union announced last week that tests detected a second pesticide, the chemical dichlorvos, in both the filling and dough of frozen dumplings made in June by Tianyang
The dumplings were recalled after a worker at one of the consumer union's outlets complained of oil-like odor in November, the union, widely known as Co-op, said.
Tests conducted by Co-op last week found traces of dichlorvos, the union said. A total 10 parts per million of dichlorvos was detected in the dumplings, 110 ppm in the dough and 0.42 ppm in the filling, according to statement released by the Co-op. The Japanese residue limit for wheat is 1 ppm, and it is 0.1 ppm for cabbage, one of the ingredients in the filling.
There have been no reports of health problems stemming from dumplings made on the same day - June 3, 2007 - but the concentration level of the insecticide is above the level that is acceptable for a person weighing 50 kilograms (110 pounds) if two dumplings are consumed, Japanese daily Asahi reported.
For copyright reasons this article is restricted to MEMBERS ONLY - For a FREE Membership