Japanese government dispatches officials to investigate Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Osaka factory

The controversy over the problematic red koji health supplements of Japanese Kobayashi Pharmaceutical continues to expand. More than 10 people from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and the Osaka Municipal Government went to the factory of Kobayashi Pharmaceutical in Osaka this morning to investigate.

The relevant factory was closed in December last year, and the related equipment has been relocated to Wakayama. The authorities will investigate the manufacturing process of the factory, and will also send personnel to the new factory in Wakayama tomorrow to conduct on-site investigations.

A representative of Kobayashi Pharmaceutical told reporters at the scene that they will fully cooperate with the investigation. So far, a total of 5 people are suspected of dying after taking "Red Koji Cholesterol-lowering Tablets" of Kobayashi Pharmaceutical, and 114 people have been hospitalized.

Japanese media quoted the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare as revealing that the unknown substance that caused the incident is likely to be the highly toxic "penicillic acid of penicillium melleum". Kobayashi Pharmaceutical also confirmed that this substance was detected in the raw materials produced last year and in specific batches of products.

It is reported that the problematic raw materials were produced in the factory in Osaka last year. Kobayashi Pharmaceutical is expected to spend more than 1.8 billion yen to recall health supplements containing red koji ingredients.

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