Friday, October 19, 2007

Recycled garbage sold as food again

Akafuku, which got caught last week faking use-by dates, has now admitted that they recycled old, unsold food and sold it as new. (This was on Tokyo channel 6 this evening.) Again, and again, and again. There seems to be no end to it. I wonder if any Japanese food products company produces food that is safe to eat. The Japanese government has very strict checks on Chinese imports---which is effective enough that the US is interested in Japanese inspection methods for Chinese food---but seemingly does little to ensure any safety in Japanese food. (Interestingly, although the US FDA is interested in Japan’s inspection process of Chinese food of which the Japanese government is boasting to the US is very good, the Japanese media reporting leads one to believe all Chinese food is suspect of dangerous. How can the inspection be so good if it lets such dangerous food into Japan?)

The Japanese government seems to take a much more laid-back, hands-off approach to crooks in the Japanese food industry who fraudulently sell old garbage as food fit for humans. Ironically, just after the channel 6 news, the next program on that station focused on the dangers of foreign food. Many Japanese interviewed said that they don't buy foreign food products, only Japanese. These folks must enjoy the taste of rotted food. But, as Fujiwara Masahiko-chan says, logic doesn't work here.

***According to the 9pm news, the local (Mie prefecture) government did order Akafuka to cease business until it passes inspection. The company had been retrieving unsold products, removed bean paste from the mochi (rice cake) center and reusing some of the bean paste in "new" products; also reusing the mochi and selling the rest of the old bean paste to the president's son's company. The president apologized last week for the first incident---which had been a 30 year long activity---and lied about any further problems. Tonight he "apologized" for his incorrect information (lies) last week.

How many companies have been caught in this type of behavior this year? I can think of 3-4. And those are only the ones which have been caught. Obviously, it has put no fear into companies trying to sell shit for food. This company was over 300 years old. Their reputation is, for now at least, as filthy as their food.

20 October: Japan Times article on the garbage recycler, Akafukyu,---misspelled, I meant Akafuku---is here.

At a news conference Thursday night, Akafuku chief Hamada apologized, saying, "I am sorry for our consumers and related people that this has happened."

Hamada acknowledged that there was systemic falsification, saying, "Reusing of withdrawn products has been habitually conducted."...(Does he mean that he personally is a flat-out liar?)

...Tourists visiting Ise Shrine expressed anger.

"We absolutely can't count on the company just because it's a major, long-established firm," said Noboru Oda, 65, from Chiba Prefecture.

Well Oda-san, at least it isn't evil foreign food!

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