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Walmart Statement Regarding Donkey Meat Recall in China

Jan. 2, 2014 -- As soon as we learned that Dezhou Fujude Food Company Limited, a supplier in Jinan, China, had produced and provided Walmart China and other distributors with donkey meat containing fox DNA, Walmart immediately withdrew and sealed all products from this supplier. In addition to compensating customers who bought the product, which is a popular delicacy in China, Walmart is actively supporting the industrial, commercial and food safety authorities in their investigation. We understand that officials at Dezhou Fujude Food Company have been placed under criminal detention by local authorities, and Walmart is also considering taking legal action against the responsible parties. While this appears to be an isolated incident to select stores in China, our customers’ trust is paramount for our business and we are deeply sorry for this incident.

At Walmart, we take the issue of food fraud very seriously.  To this end, Walmart China is going beyond what local law requires and is adding DNA tests to its sample tests of meat products to ensure high quality and safety of the products sold in Walmart stores.  Walmart is committed to food safety across our entire supply chain and we continue to make investments to enhance our efforts in our markets around the world. We want our customers to have complete trust in the products they buy from our stores, so in addition to already requiring our suppliers to adhere to our stringent food safety requirements, we now go even further.  For example, over the past year, Walmart has strengthened our random, species-specific testing program of animal protein containing products to ensure they meet label authenticity claims.  We have literally tested thousands of samples of foods worldwide using independent, third party laboratories to ensure they contain only the ingredients declared on the package.  Walmart is also one of the founders of a Food Fraud Think Tank under the auspices of the Global Food Safety Initiative, which is part of the Consumer Goods Forum.  Through this effort, we are working with other companies to make food fraud deterrence a stronger part of existing international food safety standards.  Because education of food fraud is another key to prevention, Walmart is also working closely with Michigan State University’s Food Fraud Initiative and is sponsoring the translation of MSU’s free, on-line training course on food fraud into Mandarin for use in China.