Botulism milk powder scandal
On August 3, 2013, the world's biggest diary exporter Fonterra said a bacteria, Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism and affects muscles, had contaminated 40 tonnes of its whey protein, most of which was sold to manufacturers to make their own products, including milk powder. A day later, China banned all milk powder imports from New Zealand. Hong Kong recalled 80,000 cans of Cow & Gate baby formula. Other companies that were affected include Shanghai Yanjiu; Dumex Baby Food, a Danone brand; Wahaha Health Food and Wahaha Import & Export; Coca-Cola (China) and Abbott.
Abbott to cut milk powder prices in China after probe
Abbott Laboratories is cutting prices of its instant products in China by up to 12 per cent, the company said, joining other foreign firms in responding to Beijing’s probe into possible price-fixing by milk powder makers.
The diversified US healthcare conglomerate will cut prices of six products sold in China, including Similac and Pediasure, by 4 per cent to 12 per cent, the company said on its website this week on July 8.
Abbott is now implementing the price cuts, a company spokeswoman based in China told Reuters in an e-mail on Friday.
China’s top economic planning agency is investigating Mead Johnson Nutrition, Danone, Nestle , Abbott Laboratories and Hong Kong-listed Biostime International for possible price-fixing and anti-competitive behaviour.
So far, Nestle, Danone and Mead Johnson have responded by cutting prices of their infant milk powder products.