Japan's health ministry to convene expert panel on 'beni-koji' supplements

Japan's health ministry will convene a panel of experts on Thursday to look into the widespread health problems caused by "beni-koji" supplements.

The supplements made by Japanese drugmaker Kobayashi Pharmaceutical contain extracts of red yeast-fermented rice.

Four people who took them have died after developing kidney problems. Another 106 have been hospitalized.

Kobayashi Pharmaceutical officials will explain to the panel about products which have already been recalled. Doctors and experts in nutrition science and pharmacology, will make recommendations on what to do about the company's products made with "beni-koji" that have not been recalled.

The ministry will consider measures in the light of the experts' opinions.