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Chinese diet food causes scare in Okinawa

Date Posted: 2002-07-25

48 people nationwide and several in Okinawa Prefecture have reported becoming ill after eating Chinese-made diet food that they had purchased through the Internet. Officials say that four have died.

A young woman on Miyako Island purchased the diet food in March. After digesting the food daily for two months she fell ill with symptoms ranging from sweating to feeling extremely tired. After she sought medical help, doctors traced her condition to ingredients in the diet food. She has since recovered.

Another woman contacted the Prefecture Health and Environment Center saying that she too had brought Chinese diet pills through the Internet. After seeing news about health problems attributed to the Chinese dieting pills, she had become scared and brought her pills to the center.

The Health and Environment Center advises people to stop taking whatever pills they have purchased through the Internet without consulting a physician first. “Many of these products contain ingredients that are health hazards, and specifically can cause liver trouble. People who have such products should contact us or their physician for advice,” an official at the center advises.

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