Toxic rice prompts alarm in Japan

Thousands of Japanese bureaucrats are under investigation for possible involvement in a food safety scandal that led to a mass recall of rice and alcoholic drinks, reports the Guardian.

Mikasa Foods, from Osaka, admitted selling 400 tonnes of low-grade inedible rice — intended for use as fertiliser, animal feed and glue
— as expensive grain to hundreds of companies across Japan, including schools and hospitals.

The rice was found to be contaminated with methamidophos, a toxic pesticide, or aflatoxin, a type of mould.

The discovery prompted the Japanese government to cancel all sales of rice for industrial and agricultural use, pledging to return existing
imports to their countries of origin. Products that may have been made using the contaminated rice were recalled. Asahi Breweries, Japan’s
biggest brewer, said it was recalling 650,000 bottles of shochu.

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