Scandal as recalled products still on sale

Scandal as recalled products still on sale

That health scare caused distrust in locally produced infant formula and benefited foreign suppliers such as Nestle, Danone and Lactalis.

Lactalis Nutrition Santé recalled over 600 batches (more than 7,000 tonnes) of products manufactured at a factory in Craon from 15 February a year ago.

Lactalis - whose Picot, Milumel and Taranis brands were affected by the recall - has stopped operations at a factory in northwestern France in order to try and eliminate the risk to the public.

Le Maire said initial checks showed recalled products had remained on sale at 91 sites in France, but there were no indications so far that potentially contaminated products had been exported.

"This is a major malfunction in the process of recall by the managers, to whom responsibility lies", the minister said in the margins of a press conference that he presented for the presentation of the global exhibition of agricultural products expected to be held by the end of February, every year, in Paris.

Spokespeople from the supermarkets and Lactalis have all apologised for the mistake.

"The state took over from a company which failed in its actions", he said.


Le Maire has summoned Lactalis for talks on Friday.

The tough measure reflects high-level frustration at the botched handling of the crisis after France's biggest supermarkets - including Carrefour, Auchan and Leclerc - this week said that some Lactalis products subject to recalls in December still found their way onto their shelves.

Seeking to mitigate any damage, Le Maire said the blame laid squarely on the shoulders of Lactalis, one of the world's largest dairies, and retailers after two recalls were issued for infant formula and other products.

Some of the products included in the recall were destined for markets overseas, including China.

Meanwhile, Leclerc is known to have sold nearly 1,000 of the affected products.

A French judicial investigation was launched in December and consumer protection association UFC-Que Choisir said it had filed a lawsuit against Lactalis for alleged fraud.

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