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Poison found inside tainted gyoza dumpling packages

Date Posted: 2008-02-12

Eleven packages of Chinese-made frozen dumplings have been confirmed to have pesticide inside, reinforcing police thinking there may have been product tampering.
Investigators have tested the packages from an Osaka supermarket, and they were found to contain the pesticide methamidophos, the same toxin that has affected people in Chiba and Hyogo prefectures beginning in December. Authorities say the unexpected finding was that the pesticide was not in the ingredient fillings, or in the dough wrappers. They say the methamidophos was on inner and outer parts of the sealed dumpling packages, and note they found no signs of holes, punctures or scratches in the packages.
Chinese investigators, meanwhile, say the dumplings involved in food poisonings were in a container that was never opened between the time of its leaving Tianyang Food in Hebei Province and placed on a ship at Tianjin Port, bound for Japan. China’s quality control inspectors continue to say they’ve found no problems with Tianyang Food production or quality control practices. The pesticide was not used at the factory, a Chinese inspector added, suggesting a higher probability there was intentional contamination at some point.
Chinese and Japanese investigators have been working together to determine where the pesticides may have entered the food chain. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary is telling the public not to speculate on what caused the contamination. Nobutaka Machimura issued the warning following a Chinese official’s declaration the poisonings may have been intentionally done to harm relations between the two countries.

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