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Wal-Mart has been hit with a large fine after Chinese authorities in Chongqing accused several of its outlets of selling pork that had been incorrectly labeled "organic." The sale of mislabeled, contaminated, imitation, and out-of-date food products has been a scourge that the Chinese authorities have not been able to fully correct or contain. Here's more.
Wal-Mart has been fined and forced to temporarily close some of its China-based stores. Chongqing City health officials determined that some stores had been selling conventional pork that had been incorrectly labeled "organic."
This mislabeling scandal is only the most recent in a long string of food fraud instances that have angered the Chinese public and eroded faith in the authorities' ability to control the quality of food that enters the marketplace. Harmful chemicals in infant formula, shredded cardboard in pork buns, rotten meat that is dyed and packaged as fresh—the list goes on and on.
The roughly $421,000 fine and the forced store closures are almost certainly an attempt by the regime to appear firm and effective on an issue that has become somewhat of a national food safety crisis.
The state-run news agency, Xinhua reported that ten Wal-Mart stores and two Wal-Mart affiliates in Chongqing had been accused of selling 14 tons of mislabeled pork.