More pesticide found in dumplings

Kyodo

Methamidophos pesticide has been detected in a package of Chinese-made frozen “gyoza” dumplings — the second time the pesticide has been detected in a product with packaging showing no holes or damage, the Hyogo Prefectural Police said.

The National Police Agency believes the organophosphate pesticide entered the package in China and has notified the Chinese government of the finding.

The police said that the latest incident reinforces their theory that methamidophos entered the products in China before they were sealed.

Japanese and Chinese authorities have been investigating the cause of food poisoning incidents in Japan involving Chinese-made dumplings, but no significant clues have been found so far.

Chinese authorities have denied that methamidophos was used at the factory that produced the dumplings.

The first case in which the pesticide was detected in a sealed dumpling package involved a product recalled from a supermarket in Hirakata, Osaka Prefecture, in February.

The latest case involves a product dated Oct. 1, 2007, made by the Chinese company Tianyang Food — one of 39 recalled products returned by shops and stored at a company in Osaka.

It is unclear which shop returned the product, police said.

The scientific investigation laboratory of the Osaka police, at the request of the Hyogo Prefectural Police, examined the 39 packages of dumplings and confirmed they were perfectly sealed using a water infiltration technique.

Methamidophos was detected on the surface of all 39 packages, as well as inside one of the sealed packages, according to the test results.

Among the 38 other packages, methamidophos was detected in nine dumplings in a package with a 1-mm hole and inside another package that also had a 1-mm hole.

The investigators have completed checking all of the roughly 450 products recalled in the Kinki region and will now move on to investigate the quantity and concentration of the pesticide.