Tainted food is being blamed for causing over 350 people to fall ill throughout Japan. According to ABC News, frozen food products that may have been tainted with a pesticide is believed to have caused so many people to fall ill across the country.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the pesticide malathion is to blame for the country-wise outbreak of food poisoning. The report continues on to say that the malathion is usually used to fight bug infestations in corn and rice fields.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the substance malathion is an insecticide that does not occur naturally. It is used not only in farming and gardening, but is also used to treat lice on humans, fleas on pets, and to kill mosquitos and Mediterranean fruit flies in large outdoor areas. Organ systems that can be affected by the substance include the immune system, nervous system, and the respiratory system.
Maruha Nichiro Holdings reportedly began recalling 6.4 million packages of various frozen foods on December 29, 2013. The company said that they found some packages had been tainted by high levels of pesticides. They also stated that they have received over 460,000 calls from concerned consumers regarding the outbreak.
During the duration of the recall, Maruha Nichiro Holdings said it has already received close to 1.1 million packages of possibly tainted products. According to ABC News, those who have fallen ill have experienced vomiting, diarrhea, and other problems.
Local police have told consumers and reporters that they are investigating the situation. They continue to say that some products were contaminated by up to 2.6 million times the allowable limit. So far there have been no reports of any life-threatening illnesses from Japan's tainted foods, but Maruha Nichiro Holdings is still urging consumers to take precaution and check their packages labeling.
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