China Accuses Japan of More Toxic Soy Sauce

The tables have turned and China is now accusing Japan of tainted food products that have been found in Japanese-produced soy sauce, mustard sauce and coffee exported to China:

Quarantine officials in Tianjin, east of Beijing, now say they have found arsenic five times beyond acceptable amounts in a Japanese brand of soy sauce, the country’s quality watchdog said in a statement on Tuesday.

The officials’ tests also found Japan-produced coffee to contain excessive amounts of “copper,” the statement said, adding that the products never hit shelves and were ordered destroyed.

Quarantine officials in southern China last week said they had found Japan-produced soy sauce and mustard sauce tainted with toluene and acetic ester, chemicals used in paint.

The Associated Press reports:

The seasoned soy sauce imported from the Japanese soy sauce maker Morita contains 3.15 milligrams of arsenic per kilogram, while copper was found in “Royal Blend” powdered coffee imported from Japan, China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said… Officials at Morita, based in Nagoya, said sliced dried bonito used as seasoning in the company’s soy sauce contains organic arsenic but the level of arsenic in the sauce does not affect human health.

Doutor Coffee, the Tokyo-based producer of the “Royal Blend” powdered coffee, said the company has launched an investigation into the Chinese claim. The coffee was imported from Tokyo-based office coffee service firm Unimat Life.

The Chinese government has already destroyed some of the tainted product and has ordered the test of similar products:

The sauces were produced by three Japanese factories, Xinhua said… No related sicknesses had been reported in China, but the two chemicals had caused some sickness in Japan, it added.

See also past posts on food safety.

[Image courtesy of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition.]

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