Damages Suit by Kaiware Growers Against Government Rejected

Damages Suit by Kaiware GrowersAgainst Government Rejected
May 30, 2001
Associated Press

Tokyo- The Tokyo District Court was cited as rejecting on Wednesday a lawsuit bygrowers of “kaiware daikon” white radish sprouts, who demanded thegovernment pay them 2.2 billion yen in compensation for economic lossesallegedly caused by the government’s naming of the produce as a suspected sourceof massive food poisoning in 1996.

PresidingJudge Junji Maeda was quoted as saying in the ruling that, “It wasnecessary for (the then Health and Welfare Ministry) to identify (the mostlikely culprit) as a measure to prevent the recurrence of similarincidents.”

Thestory explains that the association of kaiware daikon farms and 19 membergrowers claimed they suffered sharp drops in shipments after the ministry saidthe product used in school lunches had been “the most likely source”of the O-157 strain of E. coli bacteria, blamed for the food poisoning in Sakai,Osaka Prefecture, in July 1996.

Theministry made announcements identifying white radish sprouts as the likelysource of the food poisoning three times from July 1996 through January 1997.

Morethan 9,000 people, mainly children who ate white radish sprouts in schoollunches, were infected with the bacteria in the outbreak. Three girls died as aresult.