A government panel is reviewing the system allowing food products to be labeled as having specific health benefits, in the wake of deaths and hospitalizations of users of Kobayashi Pharmaceutical's dietary supplements containing beni kо̄ji (red yeast rice).

Aiming to draft measures to overhaul the "foods with function claims" system by the end of May, members of the Consumer Affairs Agency expert panel are focusing on ensuring the safety of functional foods and clarifying standards for reporting health damage.

Under the system, makers can obtain permission to make such claims by only reporting in advance certain scientific evidence regarding safety and functionality to the agency.