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Kobayashi Pharmaceutical's Osaka factory investigated


 , Updated 14:27, 30-Mar-2024

An investigation was carried out on Saturday at the Osaka factory of drugmaker Kobayashi Pharmaceutical, which produced the raw materials of the beni-koji supplement that has been linked to the hospitalization of over 100 people and five deaths, Japanese media reported.

The investigation was carried out by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and relevant departments of the Osaka government. The drugmaker said that it does not know the details of the investigation, according to the reports.

News footage showed officials entering the factory, and the official with Kobayashi Pharmaceutical said the ministry could search other related locations.

The Osaka-based company could not immediately be reached for comment, according to Reuters.

Kobayashi said on Friday it was investigating a suspected link between the products and kidney disease.

As of Thursday evening, 114 people had been hospitalized and five had died after taking the supplements, which were marketed as helping lower cholesterol levels, according to the company.

The company has been recalling Beni-Koji products following the reports. Beni-Koji contains Monascus purpureus, a red mold that is also used as a red coloring in some foods.

The Chinese Consumer Association urged consumers to stop using affected products, saying it was concerned about the risk of Kobayashi products, CMG reported on Friday.

(With input from Reuters.)

(Cover: An investigation was carried out at the Osaka factory of drugmaker Kobayashi Pharmaceutical, Osaka, Japan, March 30, 2024. /CMG)

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