France is in the midst of an industrial scandal that won’t stop spreading.
Lactalis, a French company selling baby milk powder, confirmed a few days ago that the bacterial disease Salmonella, which can be lethal for infants, was found in one of their factories.
The products of that factory have since then been subject to a recall, but still, it appeared that some, and that some are quite the understatement, got sold to customers anyway.
To give you an idea of the massive size of the scandal, Lactalis is one of the world's largest producers of dairy products, with annual sales of $21bn. After several days of police investigations, the company finally admitted having sold 12 million boxes of possibly contaminated baby powder to 83 countries worldwide.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Lactalis?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Lactalis</a> by families who say their children got salmonella poisoning after drinking its powdered milk.<br>It's not just baby <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/formula?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#formula</a>…it's also a wholesale supplier of a wide range of dairy products <a href="https://twitter.com/uk_lactalis?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@uk_lactalis</a> <a href="https://t.co/mmqSq3oziO">pic.twitter.com/mmqSq3oziO</a></p>— Osama Bin Javaid (@osamabinjavaid) <a href="https://twitter.com/osamabinjavaid/status/952436953248493568?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 14, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Whereas in Western Europe those products have been recalled, it remains to be seen to how many supermarkets in Asia and America have also had their products on the shelves.
At this point, 35 cases of sick children have been reported in France and another one has been confirmed in Spain.
Already, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against the French industrial group, all by families who claim their children got salmonella poisoning after drinking powdered milk made by the company.
"We must take account the scale of this operation: more than 12 million boxes are affected," the company’s CEO, Mr. Bernier said. He added that his distributors would not have to sort through the produce to find the contaminated powder.
"They know that everything has to be removed from the shelves."
The scandal became bigger this month when a French journalist found that state inspectors had given a clean bill of health to the Lactalis site in Craon, northwest France, in early September.