Wal-Mart reopens stores in China after labeling issue

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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BEIJING — On Oct. 25, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reopened 13 of its stores in a southwestern Chinese city after they were ordered closed for 15 days over the mislabeling of tons of regular pork as “organic,” according to The Associated Press. Chongqing city authorities also arrested two employees and fined the company $421,000 on charges of passing off regular pork as higher-priced organic meat earlier this month.

Wal-Mart set up supervisory teams at the stores during the two-week closure to improve management and product labeling while local authorities conducted twice-daily inspections, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Industry analysts claimed the penalties seemed harsh and may be politically motivated as Chongqing officials try to position themselves as consumer advocates ahead of national leadership changes beginning next year.

Earlier this month in a move the company claimed was unrelated to the food labeling incident, the president of Walmart China, Ed Chan stepped down and his post was to be temporarily filled by Walmart Asia president Scott Price.
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