Tag - kobayashi-pharmaceutical



A lawyer representing a consumer organization speaks during a meeting held to call for stricter regulations on "functional foods," in Tokyo on Thursday.
May 24, 2024
Mandatory reporting of 'functional food' health problems proposed
The Consumer Affairs Agency panel discussed reforms in response to health problems caused by Kobayashi Pharmaceutical supplement products.
A pack of dietary supplements designated by Kobayashi Pharmaceutical as a functional food.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Apr 30, 2024
Japan panel reviewing 'functional foods' label system
The system has been criticized for leaving it entirely up to functional food makers to guarantee the safety of their products.
Health ministry officials enter Kobayashi Pharmaceutical's factory in the city of Osaka on March 30.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Apr 26, 2024
Kobayashi Pharma to cover bills of people who got ill after taking supplements
The Osaka company’s board has also set up a third-party panel to probe the company’s handling of the issue.
Kobayashi Pharmaceutical's Tokyo office. The company has received 88,000 inquiries about health damage from its supplements.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Apr 20, 2024
More unexpected compounds found in Kobayashi Pharma's beni kōji supplements
At least two compounds not normally found in the supplements were detected in an analysis of ingredient samples.
A survey of the 6,975 products with the functional food label was initiated by the government last month following the scandal over Kobayashi Pharmaceuticals’ beni kōji supplements.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Apr 12, 2024
Probe finds 18 functional food products with past reports of health damage in Japan
The survey results come as the industry reels from deaths linked to Kobayashi Pharmaceutical's beni kōji supplements.
Health experts say the beni kōji supplement scandal should not be treated as a one-off incident. Instead, it should be seen as a cautionary tale about how such health food items could pose more risks than benefits.
JAPAN / Science & Health / FOCUS
Apr 12, 2024
Kobayashi Pharma’s slow response to scandal spotlights deeper issues
Health experts say the scandal should be seen as a cautionary tale, and not a one-off incident.
Kobayashi Pharmaceutical's headquarters in Osaka
JAPAN / Science & Health
Apr 11, 2024
Kobayashi Pharma troubles reverberate in Taiwan as firm assists with recall
Taiwan is the only place outside of Japan to have seen reports of people falling ill after consuming the company's beni kōji.
Health ministry officials head to a Kobayashi Pharmaceutical factory in the city of Osaka on March 30 to conduct a search of the premises.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Apr 9, 2024
Kidney doctors report 95 health complaints linked to beni kōji pills
So far, five people have died, 212 people have been hospitalized and 1,224 others have sought medical treatment after taking the supplements.
A building in Osaka's Chuo Ward housing the Kobayashi Pharmaceutical headquarters
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Apr 7, 2024
Government holds hearings at Kobayashi Pharmaceutical on supplements
Of those who took the supplements, five people have died and 196 people have been hospitalized so far.
Kobayashi Pharmaceutical's Tokyo office. An investigation into the cause of the health issues is underway, with partner companies attempting to recall products that could include the batch of beni kōji said to have caused kidney problems.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Apr 4, 2024
Kobayashi Pharma's wide supply chain complicates search for tainted products
Looking at the overall market, one study showed that around 33,000 companies have sold and distributed products using the firm's red yeast rice.
Health ministry officials enter Kobayashi Pharmaceutical's Osaka plant on Saturday for inspection.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Apr 4, 2024
Cause of Kobayashi Pharma health scare still unclear as probe continues
A natural compound derived from blue mold has been detected in the firm's beni kо̄ji supplements, but the substance's health impacts are still unclear.
An official of Kobayashi Pharmaceutical speaks to reporters on Saturday in Osaka following the health ministry's inspections of the firm's plant.
JAPAN / Society
Apr 3, 2024
166 hospitalized over health issues linked to beni kōji
Taiwan's health ministry said the number of people experiencing ill health after taking Kobayashi Pharmaceutical's beni koji had risen to 11 as of Monday.
Kobayashi Pharmaceutical's Tokyo office. The company reported more cases of hospitalization linked to its dietary supplements.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Apr 2, 2024
Kobayashi Pharma's health supplements tied to 157 hospitalizations
The figure reflects an increase from the 114 hospitalization cases that the company said were linked to its products containing red yeast rice.
Beni kо̄ji has been widely used in Japan and elsewhere as a food additive, and features prominently in Okinawan cuisine, particularly in a dish called tо̄fuyо̄.
JAPAN / Society
Apr 1, 2024
Beni kōji purveyors fear growing aversion following supplement scandal
The ingredient has long been used in Japan and elsewhere as a food additive, and features prominently in Okinawan cuisine.
Officials from the health ministry arrive at Kobayashi Pharmaceutical's plant in Kinokawa, Wakayama Prefecture, on Sunday for inspection.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Mar 31, 2024
Kobayashi Pharma plants inspected over health problems
The company said five people have died after taking the supplement so far, with the total number of hospitalized users reaching 114.
Health ministry officials and local authorities inspect a Kobayashi Pharmaceutical factory in Osaka on Saturday following reports of deaths and hospitalizations possibly linked to its red yeast rice dietary supplements.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Mar 30, 2024
Kobayashi Pharma factory inspected amid red yeast rice pill scare
The factory in western Japan, which was making the ingredients of the supplements, shut down in December.
Kobayashi Pharmaceutical President Akihiro Kobayashi (second from left) and other executives apologize for the deaths and other health damage associated with its dietary supplements, in the city of Osaka on Friday.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Mar 29, 2024
Kobayashi Pharma says blue mold compound may be cause of health problems
The beni kо̄ji red yeast rice dietary supplements are now linked to five deaths and 114 hospitalizations.
Packs of dietary supplements designated as functional food by Kobayashi Pharmaceutical. Consumer rights groups have for years argued that the functional food label is thin in scientific evidence and potentially harmful to health.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Mar 29, 2024
Kobayashi Pharma scandal reignites debate on ‘functional food’ labels
The labels have been criticized for years over the lack of sufficient scientific proof of safety and efficacy accompanying their use.
According to Yano Research Institute, Japan's supplements market grew about 30% in the span of three years.
Mar 29, 2024
Supplements market in Japan showing steady growth
Improved health awareness sparked by COVID-19 is a major factor fueling the growth, market research firms say.
An official from the city government's health department in Kahosiung, Taiwan, checks the shelves at a drugstore in the city on Wednesday regarding Kobayashi Pharmaceutical's products.
Mar 29, 2024
Kobayashi Pharma confirms fifth death linked to its supplements
The relationship between the deaths and the supplements remains unclear.


The Japanese government updated its English education guidelines in 2017 to emphasize communication over grammar and memorization. Public school teachers are incredibly busy, however, which means schools haven’t been able to implement changes uniformly. Private and alternative schools are attempting to remedy this.
The language of opportunity: Bilingual education is on the rise in Japan