Sunday 24 September 2017

Walmart to carry out DNA tests after fox meat find

Shopping carts are seen outside a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Coolidge, Arizona in this file photo. REUTERS.
Shopping carts are seen outside a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Coolidge, Arizona in this file photo. REUTERS.

Lauren Coleman-Lochner

WALMART said it will start DNA testing meat it sells in China after recalling donkey products that authorities said contained fox DNA.

The company was forced earlier this week to withdraw all products from Chinese vendor Dezhou Fujude Food Company, after fox DNA was identified in samples.

Chinese authorities put Dezhou Fujude officials in "criminal detention", and Walmart is considering legal action, according to the retailer.

Walmart said it was offering compensation to customers and that the testing it was adding would go beyond what was legally required in China. The world's largest retailer had previously increased safety measures after contamination and mis-labelling incidents, including a 2012 citation by regulators for selling sesame oil and squid with hazardous levels of chemicals.

In 2011, police arrested Walmart workers in the city of Chongqing amid a probe of allegations the retailer mislabelled ordinary pork as organic. The employees were later released. The incident forced the company to close its stores in the city for about two weeks and pay fines.

"Walmart will spare no effort. . . in working with government authorities in their investigation," said Walmart's China president Greg Foran. "Walmart commits to further enhance sample testing in the future."

China's government has vowed to crack down on offenders as contamination of products, from baby formula to pork, continues to spark outrage.

Irish Independent

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