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3 reported ill after consuming red yeast rice products

03/30/2024 10:23 PM
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Taipei, March 30 (CNA) Three people have fallen ill after consuming food products containing Japan-based Kobayashi Pharmaceutical's red yeast rice, Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) said on Saturday.

As of Friday morning, a total of five deaths related to the company's red yeast rice have been reported in Japan.

Although Taiwan does not import the problematic health supplements by the drugmaker, two local companies have imported raw materials for making red yeast rice from Kobayashi Pharmaceutical and have voluntarily removed them from store shelves as a preventive measure.

The agency's Deputy Director Lin Chin-fu (林金富) told CNA that the three cases included one reported in Kaohsiung and one in Taichung, with the other case in another county or city that he could not reveal.

He added that the agency will invite relevant experts and scholars to conduct an assessment to analyze the relevance between the consumption of products and "unexpected health reactions" in the three cases.

In the Japan case, consumers experienced kidney problems.

Regarding whether TFDA will assist the public in seeking compensation overseas, Lin said this will be handled through consumer protection groups.

If the public needs to file collective lawsuits, the food safety protection fund can subsidize consumer protection groups, Lin added.

In a recent statement issued by the TFDA, the agency said that if consumers experience discomfort after consuming products containing the Japanese drugmaker's red yeast rice, they can inform the agency or call (02)2321-0594.

(By Shen Pei-yao and Evelyn Yang)


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