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Police to probe dumpling case in Japan
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A team of senior Chinese police officers is to go to Japan to assist the investigation into the alleged poisoning of Chinese-made dumplings, China's Ministry of Public Security (MPS) said on Thursday.

The team, led by the Yu Xinmin, vice director of the MPS criminal investigation bureau, would exchange information and views with Japanese police, said a notice on the MPS website.

Yu would be accompanied by senior criminal investigators Wu Guoqing and Cui Daozhi and toxicologist Wang Guiqiang.

The notice gave no further details.

Japanese media reported on January 30 that at least 10 people in the Hyogo and Chiba prefectures reported stomachaches, vomiting or diarrhoea after eating the imported dumplings.

Earlier this month, Japanese and Chinese investigators inspected the manufacturer, Tianying Food Plant, in Hebei Province, but found nothing irregular. They also found no problems related to the purchase of raw materials or the production process.

Cheng Fang, the director of Hebei Province's quality inspection agency said the two batches of dumplings involved in the case were unlikely to have been contaminated during the transportation process in China.

Di Menglu, head of Tianyang, quoted a statement from Japan's Ministry of Education dated February 6, which said that schools serving dumplings from the same batches had reported no poisoning cases.

Tianyang Food Plant has been exporting to Japan for 10 years, and sent 3,970 tonnes of dumplings to Japan last year.

Earlier tests showed the rest of the dumplings from the same batches sold in Japan, totaling more than 2,000 packages, were safe. So were all the other products made by the Chinese company.
(Xinhua News Agency February 21, 2008)

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