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Danone accused of bribery

Sep 17

Written by:
17/09/2013 16:14  RssIcon

Food company investigated in China

A subsidiary of food giant Danone stands accused of bribing hospital staff in China to use its products.

According to China Central Television, Dumex allegedly paid doctors and nurses in the northern city of Tianjin to promote its baby formula products.

The report, which cited an unidentified former sales manager, comes amid an anti-corruption drive by Beijing.

In the CCTV report, Danone's Dumex brand is accused of giving "sponsorship fees" or payments of up to 10,000 yuan ($1,632) to hospital staff.

Dumex said it was "extremely shocked" by the allegations.

According to the BBC the French food giant has faced numerous problems in China this year.

The BBC reports that Danone cut prices for its infant milk formula products by as much as 20% after China's top economic planning body fined it in August for price-fixing.

The firm also had to issue a precautionary recall of its milk formula products last month after one of its suppliers, Fonterra, said some items may have been contaminated.

An investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism for The Independent  found that Danone has been mis-marketing its formula milk product Aptamil in Turkey by suggesting mothers with six-month old babies might not be providing enough of their own milk to meet their children’s needs. The campaign boosted infant formula sales in Turkey by at least 15 per cent and may have led to mothers moving their infants on to formula unnecessarily.

 

 

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