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Wal-Mart Pulls Tainted Eggs from Shelves in China

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on October 30, 2008

The bad news for China’s food industry just won’t stop, and you have to wonder what tainted product will be uncovered next. First we had melamine added to mainland produced milk, which has been responsible for four deaths and thousands of infants striken with kidney problems in China. That soon led to revelations of contaminated chocolate, yogurt and other processed foods which use milk powder or whole milk an ingredient. Then last weekend, Hong Kong supermarkets yanked Chinese eggs from the shelves after testing revealed high levels of melamine in a brand originating from Dalian-based Hanwei Group. Contaminated eggs have also shown up in Hangzhou and now, Wal-Mart has pulled the brand from all its stores across China, and Hong Kong authorities have found contaminated eggs orignating from Hubei province.

Meanwhile, the repercussions for food producers outside China continue to spread in the face of melamine scare. In Indonesia, confectionary company Mars learned that the government destroyed 2,000 boxes of Snickers and M&M chocolates made with Chinese dairy products.

What all of this underscores, is that in the absense of adequate government monitoring of food safety in China [and restrictions on the press from reporting on problems until they get the government’s approval to do so], the responsibility to prevent corrupt and unscrupulous individuals from putting the public at risk must lie with the manufacturers and food processors to monitor every step of the food supply chain.

Reader Comments


November 1, 2008 1:27 PM

Generic branding i.e., eggs sold branded/graded. Where there's no branding there isn't any grading either. Yes when it comes to branding similar branded mentioned above openly sold, black marketed, sold at premium in many markets and are in big demand. The onus is on the company to save their consumer. Not on the consumer to protect him. With low literacy, poverty, ignorance such practices prosper, and thrive for many companies in the world. Institutions as Wal-Mart are symbol of protection for many non Wal-Mart markets, where rejects of Wal-Mart is being dumped for hungry, poor. It should be the corporate social responsibility of Wal-Mart, Carrefour and all that the rejects, be destroyed than sold to other customers, in developing poor countries. Most eggs, milk is old raw, un-branded, unchecked. Sold in millions of tons, and still need more metric million tons. Will international community, companies play their role for good governance for diversion of tainted proudcts to the poor, sick and unwell, to die. eMail:


January 14, 2010 8:23 AM

What foods are labeled 'rpcessed in China' or are any labeled? How can the consumer know what foods come from China?

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Bloomberg Businessweek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies.

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