There is almost no chance the Chinese-made dumplings that made
10 people sick in Japan were intentionally contaminated during
production, a senior quality official said yesterday.
"Reports that dissatisfied Chinese workers deliberately
contaminated the dumplings are mere subjective guesswork," Wei
Chuanzhong, deputy director of the General Administration of
Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, told a press
conference in Beijing.
On Tuesday, the Japanese wire service Kyodo said the food
poisoning in Japan caused by the frozen dumplings was likely to
have been committed by someone with a grudge against the
However, Wei said local police had confirmed with the
administration early yesterday that they found nothing unusual in
the production process.
He said sight inspections had found the Hebei Province dumpling-maker Tianyang Food
Plant was very well run and met high hygiene standards.
"It would be almost impossible for somebody to bring a poisonous
substance into the factory," Wei said. "It's also almost impossible
the contamination could happen during the production process."
Wei said the factory has been exporting to Japan for 10 years
and its workers are very friendly toward the country. Salaries at
the company are also much higher than the local average.
"The interests of the workers are closely tied to the Japanese
importer, so there is no reason for them to sabotage the products,"
But Wei did not fully rule out the possibility that the
contamination happened in China, as a police investigation is still
He said the Ministry of Public Security had dispatched a
six-member team, including top criminal investigation experts, to
Hebei to study the case.
The incident has become an emotive issue in Japan following a
series of health scares over Chinese products ranging from pet food
to toys and toothpaste.
But tests have failed to find any pesticide residue in the
dumpling samples. So far, traces of pesticide were found only in
the 10 victims' vomit and packages of the dumplings they had eaten,
but not in others from the same batches.
"Therefore, we consider it as an isolated case, not a food
safety problem," Wei said.
Wei called for the establishment of a Sino-Japanese joint
investigation team, as well as long-lasting cooperation mechanism
on food safety issues between the two countries.
(China Daily February 14, 2008)