Home > MAFF UPDATE > MAFF UPDATE 2009 INDEX > MAFF UPDATE No.717 (Published on May 22, 2009)


MAFF UPDATE No.717 (Published on May 22, 2009)


Number 717
May 29, 2009

A weekly update of news from the Japanese
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
International Policy Planning Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Kasumigaseki 1-2-1, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8950
Fax: 81-3-5512-7652
Editor: Takao Sato

The Test Result of moldy foreign substances found in imported rice just before sale  

We have analysis results of remaining 40 of 60 cases of “moldy foreign matters” in the imported rice which were found by visual inspect just before sale by the end of January, 2009 (On 3rd April, we released the other 20 cases whose assay results had been available by the end of March this year).
AflatoxinB1 was detected in 3 cases, but the other 37 cases were aflatoxinB1 negative.
We will incinerate the 40 bags of rice, bags and all, which have “moldy foreign substances” including 37 aflatoxinB1-negative cases.

The Test Result

  1. In the case of imported rice, we have been opening rice bags and visually inspect just before sale whether there is mold or not in order to sell only clean rice under the Food Sanitation Law since 8th December, 2008. 
  2. There were 60 cases of moldy foreign substances found by the end of January, 2009 through visual inspect just before sale, including 3 cases which had been found and analyzed on or before 8th December 2008. We have analyzed these foreign substances by the test method of aflatoxinB1 shown in a notification based on the Food Sanitation Law.
    The analysis of 20 out of 60 cases had given results by the end of this March, and the results were announced officially on 3rd April.
    The analysis of the remaining 40 gave the following results. In the 40 cases, 37 cases have tested negative for aflatoxinB1, but 3cases have tested positive.


AflatoxinB1-Positive Rice

 AfratoxinB1-Positive 3 cases:

  1. For all 3 cases:
       (1) We incinerate rice stuffed in bags in which “moldy foreign substances” were found.
       (2) We had aflotoxinB1-negative result after analysis of rice that has been stocked among the rice imported by the same ship. 
  2.  For the rice imported by the same ship with the 3 cases:
       (1) We have never sold rice of the 2 cases 
       (2) We had sold 21-ton rice of the 1 case, but it had not been used as of the day when ”moldy foreign substances” were found in rice.
            After we examined aflatoxinB1 and confirmed they were negative, the rice has been used. 


Further Responses

  1. To sell the imported rice, we have done the following:
      (1) Have opened rice bags and have visually confirmed just before sale whether there was mold or not since 8th December 2008.
      (2) Have collected samples from all flexible container bags per lot, 1 lot shows the amount of 1 to 3 days visual confirmation work (lot limit is 50 tons of rice)                       at the  same place, for the analysis of mold poison since 19th February, 2009.
          We will do these inspect and analysis thoroughly.
  2. As to rice in which “moldy foreign substances” had been found, we have been organizing and analyzing date of its production district, warehouse, etc. We will take steps to improve our system based on the result.
  3. We, General Food Policy Bureau in MAFF will continue to consult the Science Committee for the mold in government-controlled rice and will maintain routine links with Food Safety and Consumer Affairs Bureau in MAFF, MHLW, Food Safety Commission and Cabinet Office, etc.




The following statistics are available from the Statistics Planning Division of the Statistics Department (Tel. 03-6744-2037).

  1. Survey on Current State of Agricultural Roads Under Construction, 2008
  2. Production of Soybeans, 2008
  3. Production of Feed Crops, 2008
  4. Statistics on Lumber, March 2009
  5. Statistics on Plywood, March 2009
  6. Statistics on Milk and Milk Products, March 2009
  7. Production and Shipment of Pears, Japanese Persimmons, and Chestnuts, 2008
  8. Statistics on Meat Marketing, March 2009
  9. Periodical Statistics on Marketing of Fruits and Vegetables, Middle 10 days of April 2009
  10. Statistics on Fishery and Aquaculture Production, 2008
  11. Index Numbers of Commodity Prices in Agriculture, March 2009
  12. Statistics on Chicks Hatched, March 2009
  13. Statistics on Marketing of Fisheries Products in Consuming Areas, March 2009
  14. Monthly Statistics on Marketing of Fruits and Vegetables, March 2009
  15. Report of Survey on Trend of Price and Sales of Perishable Food, January - March 2009
  16. Statistics on Distribution of Frozen Fishery Products, March 2009
  17. Statistics on Lumber, 2008
  18. Prices of Lumber, April 2009
  19. Periodical Statistics on Marketing of Fruits and Vegetables, Last 10 days of April 2009
  20. Planted Area, Production and Shipment of Spring Vegetables and Summer-Autumn Vegetables, 2008
    Totals of 2008 production of onion, cucumber, eggplant, tomato, and green pepper
  21. Periodical Statistics on Marketing of Fruits and Vegetables, First 10 days of May 2009


  1. All materials are in Japanese unless otherwise noted.
  2. Contacts may not be able to respond to inquiries in any language except Japanese. 




International Policy Planning Division
International Affairs Department
TEL: +81-3-3591-9681   FAX: +81-3-5512-7652

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