Earlier today [Monday] a chicken processor in Saitama Prefecture was searched by police after management admitted to selling imported chicken as domestic.

The mislabelling incident comes hot on the heels of a similar scandal involving beleaguered Japanese meat processor Snow Brand Foods, which labelled imported beef as domestic produce in order to benefit from government BSE subsidies.

The chicken processor at the centre of this latest scandal is affiliated with the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations (Zen-Noh). Some 30 sites have been raided, including the main office of Zen-Noh Chicken Foods Corp. in Toda. The company is suspected of violating the Unfair Competition Prevention Law.

A number of key customers have already cancelled their purchase agreements with Zen-Noh.