Twenty-two milk powder distributors have complained to local media about Chinese milk powder products manufacturer Yili's refusal to recall milk powder products contaminated with melamine.
After almost a year of fruitless consultation with Yili on the recall of the milk powder products, the 22 distributors recently published a post online, criticizing Yili for not recalling the products concerned after the melamine incident of 2008. Their post has triggered a hot online discussion about Yili.
According to Fan Fangkui, one of the distributors, there are about 2,000 boxes of milk powder products in their storehouses and these products were all melamine contaminated, but Yili refused to recall them.
Fan said that after the State ordered a recall of melamine contaminated milk powder products in 2008, they received 17,350 boxes of contaminated milk powder from sub-dealers, including brands such as Mengniu, Yili, Yashili, Sanlu, Scient, and Synutra. Later 15,350 boxes of these products were recalled, but the remaining 2,000 boxes, including 1200 from Yili and 800 boxes from Mengniu were still being stored pending a recall.
Fan said that since November 2008, they had been consulting with Yili on the matter, but the latter was unwilling to make a recall, giving a number of excuses such as: the milk products was sold outside agreed regions, and the recall period had expired.
It is learned that the 2,000 boxes of milk powder products range from baby milk powder to milk powder for seniors. Most of them were made between June 2008 and August 2008. Local departments in Changsha had been coordinating and urging the manufacturer to recall these products, but the manufacturer only agreed to recall at a discounted price, and this was unacceptable to the distributors.
Chen Gang, the marketing manager of Yili, said that the company has been actively recalling unqualified milk powder products since September 14, 2008. They had recalled a total of 4,500 boxes in Changsha and the recall there was basically completed with the exception of one case in which the distributor did not want to accept the company's recall plan.
It is learned that following the intervention of the local industrial and commercial departments, Yili finally agreed to call back these problematic products.
Local lawyers said that, according to the relevant rules in China, companies refusing to recall defective products will be fined three times of the value of the goods involved.