Japan: Fifth Death that Might Be Related to Food Supplements · Global Voices

Another, the fifth in a row, was recorded in and probably caused by food supplements against cholesterol. The Japanese pharmaceutical group Kobayashi Pharmaceutical announced today (29.03.2024) that investigations are being made around the fifth death that may be associated with some of his food supplements against cholesterol, which contain yeast of red rice and are at the center of a major health scandal in the country. The number of people hospitalized in Japan in this case has increased to 114, the group also clarified during a press conference. Patients mainly experience renal failure. A case of hospitalization in Taiwan, which may also be linked to Kobayashi Pharmaceutical’s food supplements was also reported yesterday, Thursday, by local media. If this connection is confirmed, it will be the first known case outside Japan. “I deeply apologize for the great concern we caused,” said today the president of this family group, Akihiro Kobayashi, bowing to the cameras along with other directors of his company in a sign of regret. He also stated that he was “sorry” about the fact that the company did not mention this issue until late last week, when he announced the recall of three series of products, even though he had received a first notice from a doctor as early as January 15. The Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Group and the Japanese health authorities continue to try to identify which substance in the yeast of red rice (called ‘beni koji’) of food supplements may be responsible for hospitalisation and deaths. This Osaka group (Western Japan) also announced today that it wants to compensate persons who have side effects or are hospitalized after consuming its own food supplements. The business admitted this week that it also supplied red rice yeast to about fifty other companies in Japan, as well as to two Taiwanese businesses. For precautionary reasons, many of these businesses proceeded in turn to recall their own products containing this yeast, such as the sparkling sack, various dressings for salads or miso, a paste made from fermented soybeans.