Saturday, December 10, 2011

Meiji ignored info on cesium-tainted baby food for 2 weeks - 10th Dec 2011

Food maker Meiji Co. received information on three occasions in mid-November about radioactive cesium in its baby food but paid no heed to the leads for about two weeks until it finally looked into the matter when approached by Kyodo News and a citizens' group earlier this month, Kyodo learned Friday.

Meiji, which subsequently found up to 30.8 becquerels per kilogram in its Meiji Step milk powder, said it had initially concluded that "further investigation was unnecessary" because, of the three occasions, one was an anonymous call and the two others cited Internet information that the company was unable to confirm.

"We would like to respond with better sensitivity from now on," a Meiji spokesperson said.

An anonymous caller provided Meiji's customer service with information on Nov. 14 that a citizen's group in Fukushima Prefecture had detected cesium in the milk formula in late October, according to sources familiar with the matter.

On the same day, two consumers contacted Meiji saying they saw information about the suspected contamination on the Internet. They were told by the customer service that there was no problem with the product as the company conducts monthly checks, the sources said. Read More