Second Kobayashi Pharma Japan factory inspected over deaths

The factory in Osaka’s Yodogawa Ward was closed in December due to ageing facilities and production shifted to the factory in the city of Kinokawa that was searched on Sunday, Japanese media reported.

The government has criticised the company for taking two months to announce the health impacts of its products. Kobayashi began recalling products on Mar 22 after receiving reports of kidney ailments.

Its products are also consumed in other countries.

Japanese media said a case of acute renal failure had been reported in Taiwan. Taiwan’s food and drug administration is investigating three “unexpected health reactions” that may be related to imported materials from Kobayashi, Taiwan’s official Central News Agency reported.

A Chinese consumers association urged consumers to stop using potentially affected products, saying it was concerned about the risk of Kobayashi products, state media reported on Friday.

Japan’s health ministry is aware of the Taiwanese cases, the official said, declining to comment further on any international cases.

Kobayashi sells Beni-Koji wholesale to 52 companies, which have conducted voluntary inspections and found no materials requiring medical consultation as of Friday, NHK said. Those companies sell the materials on to 173 others, it said.

TV Asahi reported that some 1,800 foodmakers could be affected.

Beni-Koji contains Monascus purpureus, a red mould used as a food colouring.

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