Red yeast rice malt damage] Urine foaming and stabbing pain… The true reason for the “fearless smile in direct response to this magazine” by the elite president of Kobayashi Pharmaceutical’s founding family | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Red yeast rice malt damage] Urine foaming and stabbing pain… The true reason for the “fearless smile in direct response to this magazine” by the elite president of Kobayashi Pharmaceutical’s founding family

Akihiro Kobayashi (52) Five people who used "Red Yeast Rice Supplement" died and 157 were hospitalized. He apologized in tears at the general shareholders' meeting, but for some reason he smiled and ......

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President Kobayashi shed tears and apologized at the general shareholders meeting held the day before the direct hit. However, when interviewed by this magazine, he showed a fearless smile.

On March 29, an emergency press conference was held by Kobayashi Pharmaceutical in Osaka City, and after the four-and-a-half-hour press conference, a man emerged from the conference room at around 8:00 pm. He was Akihiro Kobayashi, 52, president of Kobayashi Pharmaceutical.

He was being guarded by employees as he walked to his car. His expression was so frail that it was hard to believe that he was the head of a major corporation.

As of April 2, five people had died and 157 were hospitalized. In addition, six people in Taiwan have complained of abnormal kidney function.

One of the causes is believed to be puberulic acid derived from blue mold. Professor Shinsuke Fujiwara of Kwansei Gakuin University’s School of Life and Environmental Sciences explains.

Puberulic acid is a substance that suppresses the growth of malaria. It is not clear whether it is nephrotoxic. There remains a possibility that substances other than puberulic acid produced by the metabolism of blue mold may be the cause.

It is difficult for blue mold to grow predominantly in the medium of red yeast mold. Also, there is probably no gene in red yeast mold that produces puberulic acid. In other words, it is reasonable to assume that the blue mold contaminated the culture medium. Kobayashi Pharmaceutical would have had thorough control, but it is possible that there were problems in controlling the temperature, humidity, and acidity of the incubator.”

Harmful Effects of Family Business

Some people who have taken health foods containing red yeast rice have reported a variety of symptoms, including bubbling urine like cola, blackish brown color, and stabbing pain in the lower abdomen. A man in his 60s who was interviewed expressed his frustration, saying, “Only those who have used it can understand this horror.

Amidst the cries of grief from those who have taken the product, President Akihiro Kobayashi has been busy responding to the situation. He has already held two press conferences, and furthermore, at the general shareholders’ meeting held on March 28, he shed tears and apologized.

Kobayashi, the sixth generation of the founding family, attended Keio Junior High School and graduated from Keio University with a degree in economics. After working for Kao for four years, he joined Kobayashi Pharmaceutical in ’98.’ He is an elite who became the president of the company in 2001 at the age of just 42. He was ranked 27th in the “Euret” (a corporate value search service) ranking of the top 100 companies in Japan last year, and his assets are estimated at 121.5 billion yen,” said a reporter for an economic magazine.

On the other hand, there is a possibility that his position as the heir to the founding family has complicated matters.

His father, Chairman Kazumasa (85), still exerts a strong influence, and some in the industry deride President Akihiro as a “decoration president. Many of the senior executives are still treated as “dim-witted” by the heavy hitters. I think he had a hard time getting his own opinion across.

In fact, it took more than two months from January 15, when Kobayashi Pharmaceutical received the first report of a suspected health hazard, to March 22, when the company voluntarily recalled the product. Since no information was provided to the government, Minister of Health, Labor, and Welfare Keizo Takemi expressed his harsh stance, saying, “I must say that this is regrettable. The fact that there was no cause-and-effect relationship is not surprising,” said Masahiro Ue, president of the Institute of Medical Governance, a nonprofit organization.

Even though the cause-and-effect relationship was not determined, it was a huge failure in terms of crisis management. Supplements are basically used every day, and the high frequency of use may have allowed toxicity to accumulate without being broken down. Even if there was no problem with the standards of use, verification may be necessary.”

What are his thoughts on responsibility for the problem? We directly interviewed President Kobayashi, who came out of the press conference room as we mentioned at the beginning of this article.

–Excuse me, can I just say something?


He did not respond to our call at all. His expression showed a sense of fatigue.

However, as he passed by the reporter, his cheeks lifted dramatically. For a brief moment, President Kobayashi (photo above) smiled clearly. I wondered if his expression was simply his cheeks getting stiff, or if he had other true intentions. …… Without uttering a word, he got into the pickup truck and left the venue.

I made several visits to the large mansion in Ashiya City, Hyogo Prefecture, where his parents and Chairman Kazumasa Kobayashi live, only to hear a woman’s voice over the intercom reply, “I won’t be back today.

With a closed corporate culture and opaque management conditions, there is a mountain of issues to be examined. The health supplements have caused the deaths of many people. The responsibility of the one-man founding family is too heavy.

He did not respond to any calls for help. When I pointed a camera at him, an employee assigned to security guarded him. President Kobayashi went to his car in silence.
Chairman Kazumasa’s house stands in Rokurokuso, an upscale residential area in Ashiya City. It is a mansion boasting a site area of approximately 1,300 m2.
The Osaka factory where puberulic acid was detected has already been closed. The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare has entered the plant and is conducting inspections.
Unpublished story on the president of Kobayashi Pharmaceutical! Heavy responsibility of an elite president, the “sixth generation of the founding family
Interview with the president of Kobayashi Pharmaceutical! The heavy responsibility of the elite president of the “sixth generation of the founding family

From the April 19, 2024 issue of “FRIDAY

  • PHOTO. Kei Kato (1st-3rd) Sankei Shimbun (4th)

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