• Kyodo

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Illegal quantities of pesticide residue have been found in frozen spinach products imported from China by Marubeni Corp., the Fukuoka Municipal Government said.

The city announced Friday that it has ordered Marubeni to halt sales of and recall the spinach.

The spinach was found to contain 0.21 parts per million chlorpyrifos, which is 21 times higher than permitted under the Food Sanitation Law.

Marubeni imported about 20 tons of frozen spinach from China in March. Fourteen tons were sold to Nichirei Corp., Japan’s largest maker of frozen foods, through a Fukuoka company.

On June 5, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced it had detected unacceptable levels of pesticide residue in frozen spinach used in prepared meals sold at Lawson Inc. convenience stores. That spinach was also imported from China by Marubeni.

In late May, Tokyo announced that pesticide residue had been found in frozen spinach imported from China and used by the family restaurant chain Jonathan’s, owned by Skylark Co.

Chlorpyrifos is an organic phosphorous insecticide used on fruit that, in large enough doses, can lead to convulsions or respiratory difficulties.

Food recall list grows

MITO (Kyodo) The Ibaraki Prefectural Government said that 16 more food products produced by 13 companies contain banned flavoring agents made by Kyowa Perfumery & Chemical Co. of Tokyo.

The finding brings the number of companies that have used the five banned additives to 44, and the number of products containing the additives to 177, the local government said.

The flavoring agents in question were made by Kyowa Perfumery at its factory in Ibaraki Prefecture.

The Food Sanitation Law bars food makers from adding the substances to food.

The five substances are acetaldehyde, propionaldehyde, castor oil, dimethylbutylaldehyde and isopropanol. They were allegedly used in violation of the law for more than 30 years at the company’s plant in the town of Juo in the prefecture.

Meanwhile, the Hitachi public health center in Ibaraki said Friday it will conduct an inspection of the factory Monday in accordance with the law.

The plant was also inspected on May 29, the center said, adding that it will check recalled products to verify the amount returned to the plant.

The local government has posted a list of products containing the additives on its Web site at www.pref.ibaraki.jp.

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