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article imageWal-Mart food safety concerns in China

By Tim Sandle     Jun 17, 2012 in Business
The U.S. company Wal-Mart has been accused by the Chinese government of two significant food violations. One relates to high levels of potentially carcinogenic chemicals in some foods and the second to selling pork unfit for human consumption.
Wal-Mart's Chinese operation has received two serious criticisms from Chinese authorities, according to the Financial Times. The first, made in June 2012, comes from the Beijing Food Safety Administration, who have accused the U.S. food giant Wal-Mart of significant food safety violations. This relates, as Business Week notes, to Wal-Mart selling products like squid and sesame oil which contained high quantities of carcinogenic compounds.
The second complaint comes from the southwestern city of Dazhou's (Sichuan province) animal husbandry department, as Want China Times reported, is that Wal-Mart stores sold pork ribs derived from diseased pigs. The offending food-stuff was sold in January, although the report was only recently announced.
This follows on from a pork related scandal from October 2011, where Wal-Mart stores in Chongqing were found to be selling ordinary pork labelled as expensive organic pork. This incident led, according to the Wall Street Journal, to two Wal-Mart store managers being arrested and jailed for six-months.
Apparently Wal-Mart China have yet to comment on the first complaint relating to cancer-causing chemicals. However, the consumer store has responded to the second allegation, stating that it had removed the pork product from shelves and was currently in communication with the Dazhou regional government.
As the Wall Street Journal notes, China is a lucrative market for stores like Wal-Mart. Set-backs like these will be unpopular with share holders.
More about Walmart, China, Food safety, food poisioning
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