• Switzerland edition
 
Chinese firm charged over Swiss baby formula

Chinese firm charged over Swiss baby formula

Published: 28 Mar 2013 12:10 GMT+01:00
Updated: 28 Mar 2013 12:10 GMT+01:00

State broadcaster CCTV said the Xile Lier company had been mixing out-of-date formula with supplies imported under its partnership agreement with Hero.

It said the Chinese firm's "legal representative" had been held for unspecified "criminal activities".
   
It is the latest food safety scandal to hit China.

Baby formula is a 
particularly sensitive product after at least six babies died and another 300,000 became ill in 2008 from drinking milk tainted with the toxic chemical compound melamine.
   
Demand for imported baby milk has soared as a result, even leading to stock 
shortages in supermarkets abroad as Chinese buyers snap up the products in bulk and ship them back for family or re-sale.
   
Hong Kong last month imposed limits on travellers' formula exports to China.

   
CCTV said government investigators had accused Xile Lier of illegal 
practices including mixing imported formula with out-of-date product, changing sell-by dates on packaging, and re-labelling formula for older babies as more expensive milk for younger children.
   
Authorities in Suzhou in the eastern province of Jiangsu, where Xile Lier 
is based, told AFP they shut down production lines at the firm in November after a whistle-blower's report.
   
"We've handed over the case to the police," said an official surnamed Liu 
at the Suzhou Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision, adding he could not provide further details.
   
But the products, which are sold under the Hero Nutradefence label, have 
remained widely available in Chinese shops.
   
Xile Lier's outlet on 
360buy.com, a major Chinese Internet marketplace, was offline Thursday, and none of its baby milk products were available on its main store on Tmall, another e-commerce site.
   
No Xile Lier officials could be reached for comment.

   
Police in Suzhou referred inquiries to the city's party propaganda 
department, which referred AFP to the industrial zone where the company is based.

It said it would issue a statement "soon".

   
Hero, headquartered in Lenzburg in the Swiss canton of Aargau, is privately 
owned and has a turnover of almost $1.5 billion, according to its website.
   
It did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday.

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

2013-03-30 02:21:28 by DJJ
This is what you can expect on a regular basis by doing business with China. I don't see why countries even bother. Switzerland would best do limited business with China.
Today's headlines
Japan Novartis unit failed to report 'drug deaths'
Photo: Sebastien Bozon/AFP

Japan Novartis unit failed to report 'drug deaths'

The Japanese unit of Swiss pharma giant Novartis has admitted it did not report more than 2,500 cases of serious side effects in patients using its leukaemia and other cancer drugs, reportedly including some fatalities. READ  

Swiss health insurance premiums 'set to jump'
Federal Health Minister Alain Berset: set to release official figures later this month. Photo: Federal Assembly

Swiss health insurance premiums 'set to jump'

Swiss health insurance premiums are set to rise steeply overall next year, according to figures revealed by a Sunday newspaper. READ  

Presented by St Bernard Assure Limited
Car insurance made easy online with St Bernard
Photo: St Bernard Assure Limited

Car insurance made easy online with St Bernard

A new car insurance firm has ripped up the rule book when it comes to selling policies in Switzerland, by cutting out the middle-man and passing the savings onto their customers with its online only model. The Local finds out more. READ  

Bencic and Federer give Swiss double boost
Switzerland's Bencic celebrates at US Open. Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America/AFP

Bencic and Federer give Swiss double boost

Seventeen-year-old Belinda Bencic on Sunday became the youngest women's quarterfinalist at the US Open since 1997, giving Switzerland a double boost after Roger Federer moved into the last 16. READ  

Air show draws large crowds to Payerne
Patrouille Suisse in action. Photo: Matthias Kabel

Air show draws large crowds to Payerne

An estimated 160,000 people turned out for the opening weekend of Switzerland’s biggest air show at the Payerne military aerodrome in the canton of Vaud. READ  

Bolivian bus crash claims three Swiss lives
Route in the Uyuni region of Bolivia. Photo: Hermes Images/AFP

Bolivian bus crash claims three Swiss lives

A bus accident in Bolivia over the weekend claimed the lives of three Swiss citizens and at least six other people, according to press reports. READ  

Novartis heart drug billed 'blockbuster' after tests
Photo: Sebastien Bozon/AFP

Novartis heart drug billed 'blockbuster' after tests

An experimental drug from Swiss pharma giant Novartis reduced deaths from chronic heart failure by 20 percent compared with an existing treatment, according to the results of a vast new study. READ  

Kavcics's injury gives  Wawrinka US Open break
Wawrinka eases into fourth round. Photo: Don Emmert/AFP

Kavcics's injury gives Wawrinka US Open break

Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka reached the fourth round of the US Open tennis tournament by walkover on Saturday when Slovenian Blaz Kavcic withdrew from their third-round match with a right foot injury. READ  

Swiss baby dies after being left in parked car

Swiss baby dies after being left in parked car

A 16-month-old baby died in the canton of Neuchâtel after being forgotten by one of its parents who left the child behind in a company car park, a Swiss prosecutor said on Friday. READ  

Petkovic selects squad ahead of England game
Switzerland's Bosnian coach Vladimir Petkovic reveals his squad during a press conference. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Petkovic selects squad ahead of England game

Switzerland manager Vladimir Petkovic on Friday brought Olympiakos midfielder Pajtim Kasami back into the football team and called up three new faces for their opening Euro 2016 qualifier against England. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Car insurance made easy online with St Bernard
National
Zurich officials call project to move prostitutes to 'sex boxes' a success
National
Swiss gays recognized as parents of child born to surrogate mother
Health
Increase in mountain bike accidents keeps Swiss hospitals busy
National
Swiss policeman belatedly honoured for saving Jews from Holocaust
National
'Suicide tourists' to Switzerland double in three years: study
National
Swiss Post SMS scheme gets stamp of approval after pilot project
Business & Money
American tax evasion crackdown hits Swiss private banks' bottom line
Politics
Woman accuses Swiss politician in nude selfies scandal of lying
National
Villagers in Graubünden valley reject hydro plant to protect vultures
Business & Money
Court rules against appellation for absinthe from Neuchâtel valley
National
Two hundred passengers rescued after landslide derails Swiss train
Travel
Switzerland remains world champion for per capita train travel
Culture
Social media backlash forces Polanski to bow out of Locarno film festival
National
Two policemen identified among three Israelis killed in train crash
Features
Untouched Alps: The Local explores Switzerland's only national park
National
Swiss government secretary tweets nude ‘selfies’ taken at work
International
Swiss couples fined in Ibiza for making love in van without seatbelts
National
Schumacher medical record theft suspect hangs himself in Zurich cell
National
Thousands of motorists drive without permits in Switzerland: report
National
Switzerland celebrates the centennial of national park in Graubünden
National
Animal rights group protests over dead fish throwing at festival
National
Federer forced to tear down kids' play area at Graubünden holiday home
National
Zurich taxis charge world’s most expensive fares: new survey
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

1,985
jobs available