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Retained samples of bean paste sold to Japan 'not toxic,' China says
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Retained samples of bean paste exported to Japan were inspected and didn't contain harmful substances, China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said on Tuesday.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu made the remarks at a regular press conference here, following reports that two people got sick after eating the paste.

"The AQSIQ conducted inspections on September 20 on the samples, which are from the same batch as the material exported to Japan and no poisonous or harmful substances were found," Jiang said.

It has been reported that two employees of a food manufacturer in the city of Nagano felt sick after tasting the paste, and a company that sold the paste said it was imported from China. They are not in a serious or life-threatening condition.

Jiang said the AQSIQ started investigations as soon as it became aware of the Japanese media reports.

According to the AQSIQ investigation, the paste was made by a China-Japan joint venture company in accordance with the requirements of the Japanese side and exported to Japan in July.

Jiang said it was reported that the Japanese police have publicized the investigation results, saying organophosphorus pesticide was not found in the jam. A laboratory in Nagano conducted a pesticide inspection involving 27 items but found no problems.

She noted China attaches high importance on exported food safety and has built a safety management system for exported food.

(Xinhua News Agency September 23, 2008)

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