June 26, 2008


Two Chinese seafood dealers label products as Japanese


Two seafood dealers from China, one of which is a subsidiary of Maruha Nichiro Holdings Inc., sold Chinese grilled eels which were falsely labelled as that of Japan's Aichi Prefecture, the fisheries ministry said Wednesday (June 25, 2008).


Observers said that the two firms put false labels on their products presumably to ship Chinese eel inventories that had increased amid the recent scare about Chinese food imports.


Uohide, an Osaka-based fishery product sales firm, set up a dummy company in Aichi Prefecture.


The company made false labels in March to April, claiming the products were made of eels farmed in Isshiki, an Aichi Prefecture town known for eels, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said.


Knowing the label was false, Shinko Gyorui Ltd., Maruha's Kobe-based wholesaling unit, sold the products to other wholesalers from March to June, the report indicated.


At least 49 tonnes of the 796-tonne Chinese eels inventory held at Uohide were sold with the false label, the ministry said.

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