2012年6月13日 星期三

Walmart in new China food scandal

沃爾瑪在中國再爆食品安全醜聞Walmart in new China food scandal英國《金融時報》 徐曉瑜香港, 巴尼•喬普森紐約報導

Walmart is facing fresh accusations of selling substandard products in China just months after a scandal over mislabelling cost its country head his job and damaged the chain's reputation in a market where food safety is a major concern.
The animal husbandry and foodstuff bureau of Dazhou city, a city of nearly 7m people near Chongqing, said it had asked Walmart's local branch in January to stop selling pork ribs sourced from diseased pigs.
An official from the bureau said yesterday the news was only made public now because it had been asked by the government to provide the media with “classic case studies” this week – food safety week.
A separate report published by state media on the same day said that a branch of Walmart in Beijing was found to be selling sesame oil with carcinogenic ingredients, and fresh squid with too much heavy metal. Local state media reports said Walmart had withdrawn all the products .
Walmart released a statement yesterday on the incident in Dazhou, but not on recalls in Beijing. “The [pork] product was immediately removed from our shelves in that store and we have discontinued supply of that product,” the company said. “Since January , we continue to be in close contact with the Dazhou government on such matters.”
The latest incidents could prove a blow to Walmart's efforts to improve its performance in China, where it has 370 stores. In the last quarter, China was the only country where Walmart's sales lagged behind the overall market. Comparable store sales only grew 1.2 per cent from a year ago.
Part of the reason was the perception that it had failed to provide sufficient safeguards over its local supply chain, said Shaun Rein, a China retail consultant.
中國零售業諮詢顧問雷小山(Shaun Rein)表示,部分原因在於這樣一種觀感,即沃爾瑪未能對其當地供應鏈提供足夠保障。
The company has been sanctioned 21 times by the Chongqing government since 2006, during the time when the city was run by the now disgr​​aced Bo Xilai. The worst scandal was the discovery last October that ordinary pork was being sold as more expensive organic pork. That led to the arrests of two store managers in Chongqing and the overhaul of Walmart's China management team.
The accusations come as Walmart is embroiled in corruption allegations stemming from its Mexico business. Two US senators investigating the allegations, initially made in the New York Times, this week revealed that Walmart's external lawyers told them they were reviewing policies in M​​exico, China and Brazil and had recommended evaluations also in India and South Afr​​ica.
面對上述指控之際,沃爾瑪正因其墨西哥業務捲入腐敗指控。 《紐約時報》(New York Times)最先曝光這些指控,對指控展開調查的兩名美國參議員本週透露,沃爾瑪的外部律師對他們表示,他們正在審議沃爾瑪在墨西哥、中國和巴西的政策,並已建議也對其在印度和南非的政策進行評估。
Additional reporting by Zhou Ping in Hong Kong.