Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Plant Searched Amid Supplement Health Scare

Main image to the post Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Plant Searched Amid Supplement Health Scare

Japanese health officials conducted a search of a Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Co. plant in Osaka on March 30th in response to reports linking five deaths to the company's cholesterol-lowering supplements containing red yeast. The plant had been producing the suspected benikoji ingredient until late last year, and the company first raised concerns on March 22nd.

Over 114 individuals have been hospitalized with kidney issues after consuming the supplements, which are sold over the counter and taken orally. The March 30th search marked the first time the central government had investigated a Kobayashi Pharmaceutical facility in connection with the benikoji supplement health scare.

According to company officials, the Osaka plant began operating in 1940 and had been manufacturing the benikoji ingredient used in the supplements. However, it closed in December, and the workers and equipment are being relocated to facilities outside Osaka Prefecture. Health ministry and Osaka city government officials are examining any remaining equipment at the Osaka plant to determine the cause of the deaths.

Kobayashi Pharmaceutical also has a plant in Wakayama Prefecture where the benikoji ingredient is manufactured, and health ministry officials planned to investigate that facility on March 31st. On March 29th, the health ministry and Kobayashi Pharmaceutical announced that highly toxic puberulic acid may be responsible for the health problems. Health ministry officials will investigate the manufacturing process to determine how puberulic acid could have contaminated the benikoji ingredient.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09