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Dumpling firm boss may seek damages
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The Chinese firm that made the dumplings that are at the center of the Japan food poisoning case will seek compensation if proven innocent, its managing director said on Friday.

Di Menglu of the Hebei-based Tianyang Food Plant, said: "We are also a victim of this incident.

"If it is shown we are innocent, we will speak to the authorities about compensation."

Di said production at the plant had been halted since media reports claimed 10 people in Japan had fallen ill on Jan 30 after eating frozen Tianyang dumplings.

"We have suffered huge financial losses," Di said without disclosing exact figures.

"More than 800 workers have been temporarily laid-off and they are eagerly awaiting production to resume."

The poisoning incident has become an emotive issue in Japan. However, while traces of pesticide were found in the vomit of the 10 victims and packages of the dumplings they had eaten, none were found in other packs from the same batches.

The Japanese government reported last week that 578 schools and kindergartens in Japan had used products from Tianyang without any health concerns being reported.

"We are considering this as an isolated case, not a food safety problem," Wei Chuanzhong, deputy director of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, said on Wednesday.

Investigations by Japanese police have also indicated the poisoning is likely to have been an act of sabotage, Wei said.

(China Daily February 16, 2008)

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