Scandal as recalled products still on sale

Carla Harmon
January 13, 2018

Le Maire fired harsh criticism against Lactalis before the press conference, calling it a "failing company".

His comments were echoed by President Emmanuel Macron, who is now on a diplomatic visit to Italy.

In a sign of how seriously France is taking the issue, Macron weighed in from Italy, also promising punishment for those responsible.

France is one of the major exporters of food, such as wine and dairy products.

Just back from a three-day official visit to China with Macron, Le Maire said he had discussed the recall with his counterparts in Beijing, adding: "The best response is transparency".

At a news conference on Thursday, Lactalis apologized and pledged to do its utmost to determine the cause of the problem. The food was recalled weeks earlier over salmonella poisoning.

Le Maire has summoned Lactalis for talks on Friday.

Lactalis - whose Picot, Milumel and Taranis brands were affected by the recall - has stopped operations at a factory in northwestern France in order to try and eliminate the risk to the public.

The initial recall only concerned products made since February 2017.

Retail giants Carrefour, Leclerc, Auchan, and Systeme U previously admitted to selling potentially tainted baby food even after it was recalled.

However, the products still managed to find its way to the shelves of large supermarket chains, with retailers selling over 2,200 recalled packages of baby food.

French consumer protection body launched a probe into the controversy.

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