Taiwan media report 6 health complaints possibly linked to 'beni-koji' products

A Taiwanese media outlet says six people in Taiwan have now complained of ill health after consuming items containing "beni-koji," or red yeast rice, produced by the Japanese drugmaker Kobayashi Pharmaceutical.

The Central News Agency on Sunday quoted the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration as saying that the organization is aware of six cases in which people claimed they had unexpected reactions.

The first case involved a woman in her 70s from the southern city of Kaohsiung who was diagnosed with acute kidney failure in March of last year.

She reportedly started taking a supplement made by a Taiwanese manufacturer three or four years ago.

Another woman in her 40s from the central city of Taichung reportedly said she had been taking a supplement, made by another firm in Taiwan, from July through December 2022. A drop in her kidney function was apparently diagnosed this January.

Officials at the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration say they will direct experts to look into any possible link between those health complaints and the use of products containing Kobayashi pharma's beni-koji.

They added that about 100 companies have started recalling products containing beni-koji.