2009/09/16

Kao to Temporarily Refrain from Selling Econa Products

Kao Corporation (President and CEO: Motoki Ozaki) announces that the Company will temporarily refrain from selling and also halt shipping of Econa-related products, including Econa Cooking Oil.

In response to discussions centering in Europe on the safety of glycidol fatty acid esters contained in fats and oils, the Company conducted an analysis of Econa Cooking Oil in the middle of June 2009. It was confirmed that Econa Cooking Oil contains glycidol fatty acid esters. It is reported that glycidol fatty acid esters occur as a by-product in the general process of deodorization during the production of fats and oils, and are contained in refined vegetable oils, including palm oil.

In our investigations (as of September 16, 2009), we found neither information nor reports that clearly indicated concerns regarding the safety of glycidol fatty acid esters.

However, we understand some consumers have concerns or uneasiness due to certain information regarding the safety of glycidol fatty acid esters.

It is a fundamental corporate policy of Kao to secure "safety" and "a sense of assurance" in products delivered to our customers and consumers; thus, we are endeavoring to provide timely information disclosure. Based on this policy, the Company decided to temporarily refrain from selling these products, and to stop shipping them, until the amounts of glycidol fatty acid esters contained in Econa and related products can be lowered to levels found in common cooking oils. In so doing, we aim to reassure consumers that these products are completely safe.

As regards the safety of Econa and related products and diacylglycerol (DAG), a main ingredient of these products, Kao has conducted many safety tests that meet global standards. Based on such scientific assessment and objective evaluation, we confirmed that there would be no safety concerns pertaining to Econa products and DAG.

We would like to express our sincere apology to any party, including users, consumers, customers and retailers, who may be inconvenienced or otherwise affected by this situation.

Consumer inquiries should be directed to:

Kao Econa Customer Center
Toll free calling in Japan: 0120-501-243
Telephone inquiries are accepted from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Japan time (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays), effective January 12, 2010.

* Effects of this incident upon future business will be announced, together with the Company's business results for the six months ending September 30, 2009, after detail investigation.


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