Wednesday, 22 Oct, 2008 Current Events

Wal-Mart Loses Confidence in Chinese Products


Wal-Mart Stores Inc., an American public corporation, declared that the recent child sicknesses in China caused by over toxic milk products necessitate setting up new requirements for Chinese suppliers.

It is worth mentioning that the United Nations in their turn published a report that suggests China to improve its food safety system. It also underlines that enterprises should bear the responsibility for the quality of their products.

Mike Duke, vice chairman of Wal-Mart's international division said the company is looking for "greater transparency from our supplier partners". This means Chinese suppliers will have to submit detailed information including names and location about every business enterprise involved in production of goods sold by Wal-Mart. This kind of cooperation should give the possibility to solve problems quickly and effectively. As Duke said, new standards will be applied to apparel in the first place, after which they will be used on all the products.

Wal-Mart's decision is well founded as there were several scandals concerning product safety violation which signals that China may lose its largest retailer if necessary measures are not taken. Last year, the scandal arose because of high levels of industrial toxins detected in different products.

As for China, it is still recovering after a hideous disclosure when the chemical melamine which is usually used in production of plastics and fertilizers was found in baby food in order to increase nitrogen content and to sell it as a high-protein product. This negligence caused four baby deaths and about 54,000 incidents of infantine diseases.

However, cases of contamination continued. Poisonous substances were found in powered and liquid milk, yogurt and other products. Safety hazard made several countries remove Chinese products made with milk from sale in order to test them for melamine. Thousands of cribs manufactured in China were recalled after the deaths of two babies as it was suspected that these cribs didn't have safety pegs.

According to health experts, large quantities of melamine can give rise to formation of kidney stones and even cause kidney failure.

In its report, the United Nations paid attention to an integral food safety law that should be introduced in order to control the whole industry. It recommended China to focus on high-risk areas of the food chain to avoid recontamination.

"The national system needs urgent review and revision," U.N. Resident Coordinator in China Khalid Malik said.

The report said that China also needs an integrated regulatory authority as well as an agency providing people with reliable information.

Government officials said late Tuesday that in the southern Chinese territory of Macau three more children suffered from kidney stones. Thus the total number of sick children makes seven now. As it turned out, two girls consumed milk produced by Chinese dairy Yili Industrial Group Co. It was confirmed that those products contained melamine.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, melamine was found in five egg products imported in South Korea from China. As a result of this South Korea prohibited imports of the products. The ministry as well as Drug Administration plan to collect and destroy the imported products.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported that less than 2.5 parts per million of melamine can be harmful if detected in baby food. It is interesting to note that only one of the five products in South Korea contained a portion higher than that level.

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Posted by sharaeff

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