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China’s Lax Food Safety Enforcement Drives Western Retailers To Take Action

March 20, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Inadequate government oversight of the food processing industry in China has forced Western food retailers like Walmart and Carrefour to take inspection matters into their own hands.  Walmart, for example, is boosting supplier inspections after a recent donkey meat recall – the meat turned out to contain fox DNA – and now conducts more DNA tests of meat in China than it does anywhere else in the world. The company expects to spend $16 million over three years to increase food safety in China after being stung by previous scandals there. The FDA is beefing up its inspection presence in China as well. The best solution, however, would be for the Chinese food processing industry to take more responsibility in food safety and for the government to strengthen its enforcement of standards.
Liza Lin , "Keeping the Mystery Out of China's Meat", Bloomberg Businessweek, March 20, 2014, © Bloomberg L.P.
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