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Ministry: Meat Hope's Misconduct More Extensive Than Previously Thought

26 June 2007

JAPAN - Meat Hope Co. routinely committed 13 types of misconduct over 24 years, including mislabeling its products, falsifying use-by dates and mixing intestines into ground meat, the farm ministry said.

The scandal-ridden meat processor based in Tomakomai, Hokkaido, dismissed all of its employees Tuesday in a sign that the company will soon fold. Meat Hope's production line was halted last Wednesday, when the company admitted to mixing pork into "100-percent" beef products over seven to eight years.

But the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries found during an on-site inspection that Meat Hope's misconduct was much more extensive and went further back.

The ministry determined that Meat Hope's wrongdoings had been willfully conducted on a systematic basis on the orders of President Minoru Tanaka and other executives.

From Friday through Sunday, the agriculture ministry interviewed executives and others from Meat Hope, its sales subsidiary and Hokkaido Katokichi Co., a food producer that had business transactions with Meat Hope over several years.

The ministry also made public a general outline of Meat Hope's dubious practices that came to light through an analysis of documents confiscated from the company.

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Source: Asahi Shimbun



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