2018 April: Australian Barley Banned in Japan. Pesticide: Azoxystrobin

Japan partially bans Australian barley over excessive pesticide levels (April 3 2018)

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-03/japan-partially-bans-australian-barley-over-pesticide-levels/9614952

The Japanese Government has banned some imports of Australian barley after pesticides five times the normal limit were detected.

Key points:

  • High levels of the pesticide azoxystrobin were detected
  • The shipment came from ITOCHU Corporation
  • Authorities said azoxystrobin had been used as a fungicide for grains, fruit and vegetables around the world and was safe

Hundreds of thousands of cereal products containing the barley are now being recalled.

The pesticide azoxystrobin was detected in a shipment of Australian barley from ITOCHU Corporation that arrived in August.

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food is now investigating and analysing all shipments of Australian barley.

Almost half of the 85 tonne export has already been used in food products and most likely already eaten, but ITOCHU said the quantity and concentration of pesticides detected did not pose a health risk.

Nevertheless, food company Nissin Cisco has voluntarily recalled 315,000 of its cereal products.

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food has banned future shipments of barley from ITOCHU, but this will not impact exports which already have approval.

“ITOCHU says something possibly happened between harvesting and shipping, perhaps during the cleaning process, but they are still investigating,” the ministry’s Tetsuo Ushikusa told the ABC.

“It’s very unlikely that it suddenly appeared in the fields.”

“In the last 14-15 years, azoxystrobin has never been detected from Australian imports — not even a tiny amount.”

The Japanese Government has given ITOCHU until April 27 to provide the results of its investigation.

The ministry said azoxystrobin had been used as a fungicide for grains, fruit and vegetables around the world and was safe.

In a statement, ITOCHU apologised and said it was working hard to make sure it never happened again.

Australian barley scare widens as Japanese company recalls 132,000 yoghurt bowls

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-04/australian-barley-pesticide-scare-widens-across-japan/9618544

Kyoto-based Japan Luna has announced the voluntary recall of 132,000 yoghurt bowls containing cereal from the suspect batch.

On Tuesday, Nissin Cisco recalled 315,000 of its cereal products.

A shipment of Australian barley from ITOCHU Corporation in August last year was found to have residue of the pesticide azoxystrobin well above normal levels.

The Japanese Government has banned imports of barley from ITOCHU, and all shipments of the Australian grain are now being closely inspected and analysed.

The import ban will not impact exports which already have approval.

ITOCHU to conduct thorough investigation

Almost half of the 85 tonne export with pesticide traces has already been used in food products and most likely already eaten, but ITOCHU said the quantity and concentration of the susbstance detected did not pose a health risk.

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food said it had given ITOCHU until April 27 to conduct a thorough investigation to find out what happened and how the batch had become tainted.

“ITOCHU says something possibly happened between harvesting and shipping, perhaps during the cleaning process, but they are still investigating,” the ministry’s Tetsuo Ushikusa told the ABC.

“It’s very unlikely that it suddenly appeared in the fields.

“In the last 14-15 years, azoxystrobin has never been detected from Australian imports — not even a tiny amount.”

In a statement, ITOCHU apologised and said it was working hard to make sure it never happened again.