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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

China Food Safety Conference Begins and Ends on “Sour” Note

Well, my talk on why it is NOT a good idea to poison your customers was well attended.   I did get a chance to pitch the pros of the civil justice system as a way of giving consumers rights against companies who poison children.   I have been invited back to give a series of lectures to law schools.  I may just open a Beijing office yet.  Where should my office be – perhaps in the “pants?”

As we were wrapping things up at the conference, press reports started circulation that the list of countries that have banned or recalled Chinese dairy products or foods containing Chinese milk has grown to include Bangladesh, Brunei, Burundi, Canada, Colombia, France, Gabon, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Suriname and Taiwan.

Countries stepping up tests on products containing Chinese milk: United States, Australia and Netherlands.  The European Union, which prohibits import of Chinese dairy goods, encouraged members to check bread, chocolate and other products to ensure they do not contain compromised ingredients.

As I said to ABC correspondent Stephanie Sy:

"Clearly, you have to think about things from a moral perspective. There are [53,000] children sick," said Marler. "But you also think about it from an economic perspective. If this product had gotten into the United States, it would have been ‘game over’ for a lot of products in China."

Read full article – “Chinese Tainted Milk Company Accused Of Cover-Up”

With over 50,000 sickened, the companies responsible for selling this crap would face civil settlements and verdicts in the 100’s of millions of dollars if this product hits a country with a functioning judicial system.  If they knowingly sold contaminated product and covered it up, the companies could face punitive damages into the billions.  Unless Chinese companies clean up thier act, they are clearly going to loose market share and require a hell of a lot of insurance.

  • joe

    Honorable William Marler you make hate at Chinese system which is not so good.

  • Joe – I do not hate the Chinese System – I do hate that 55,000 children are sick, 14,000 were or are hospitalized and 4 died. I could care less what country did it. Mao once said:
    “If we have shortcomings, we are not afraid to have them pointed out and criticized, because we serve the people. Anyone, no matter who, may point out our shortcomings. If he is right, we will correct them. If what he proposes will benefit the people, we will act upon it.”
    Perhaps it is time to pay a bit more attention to the Chairman?
    Also, see this post if you think I am biased: