updated 2/3/2008 5:05:01 PM ET 2008-02-03T22:05:01

Investigators found insecticide on the outside of six bags of Chinese-made dumplings in Japan after separate dumplings made by the same company sickened 10 people there, police said Sunday.

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The police did not speculate on whether the dumplings could have been tampered with.

Officials said Japanese authorities were recalling millions of bags of dumplings and other foods made by Tianyang Food Processing Ltd., the Chinese company that Japanese officials implicated in the earlier incidents.

A day earlier, China's product safety agency announced that tests on the ingredients of Tianyang dumplings _ from the same batch sent to Japan — found none of the insecticide cited by Japanese authorities, said the country's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

Investigators detected the insecticide methamidophos on the six bags of Tianyang dumplings over the weekend, a Hyogo prefecture (state) police official said on condition of anonymity, citing policy.

The official said that one of the bags had two tiny holes in it, and that investigators were checking whether the dumplings inside were contaminated.

The dumplings were the same type blamed for sickening 10 people, some of them seriously, in central and western Japan in December and January.

The dumplings in the latest six bags were produced on the same day as those that caused food poisoning in a family in the western city of Hyogo, the official said. A tiny hole was found in a dumpling bag recovered from the sickened family.

The official refused to speculate on what might have caused any of the holes or how any bags could have been contaminated, citing the ongoing investigation.

The six bags were among items recalled from Japanese wholesaler Sojitz Food Corp., he said, adding that investigators had yet to determine how the products were delivered to Sojitz.

Public broadcaster NHK said the six bags were returned to Sojitz from Japanese retailer JT Foods in late December after complaints that the bags' surfaces were sticky.

Chinese and Japanese food safety officials began talks Sunday in Tokyo on the tainted dumplings, which have prompted a nationwide scare over imported food.

"The issue ... has become a big social issue in Japan and we need to quickly respond to cool things down," Shigeru Horita, assistant vice minister for quality of life policy at Japan's Cabinet, said at the start of the talks.

The Japanese Consumers Cooperative Union, a retail food seller, was recalling about 15 million bags of products made during March 2007 and January 2008 by Tianyang, according to cooperative union spokeswoman Reiko Kido.

JT Foods said it was recalling between 21 million and 28 million bags of products made in 2006 and 2007, according to company official Yoshifumi Matsuzawa.

Japanese health ministry officials were not immediately available for comment Sunday.

More than 900 people in Japan had told health authorities they became ill after eating Tianyang products as of Saturday afternoon, according to the health ministry. Eight of them were hospitalized, but none were diagnosed with pesticide poisoning.

The dumpling scare has prompted many stores and restaurants in Japan to stop offering Chinese products.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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