Business Ethics: Nestle Milk Misleading with Melamine?

DURING the September of 2008, a huge scandal broke. The parents of a baby Chinese boy, whom had developed kidney stones after drinking milk powder manufactured in China, filed a lawsuit against Sanlu (biggest  producer of milk powder in China) for the damage to their son’s health (seeking a $22,000 compensation).

Baby checked for kidney stones in China (click any picture for source link)

The article by National Post, “More than 54,000 affected by China milk scandal,” reports of four infant deaths attributed to the chemical additive, not to mention more than a hundred with other serious conditions. The number climbed to an estimate of 300,000 victims and 13 infant deaths.

Milk powder is dumped in protest

In this ordeal, Nestle (Northeastern China manufacturer) was also found guilty of having minor levels of melamine in its milk powder products (source: Taiwan says melamine found in Nestle milk powders). So why would a such a big and renowned company insert harmful additives “traditionally used to create durable dishware and clear resins” into foods consumed by infants?

Apparently, there is more reason to boycott Nestle...?

Nestle’s contemptible reason was to falsify food quality checks of water-downed milk by  increase nutrient and protein levels with nitrogen-rich melamine.  Now let’s take a look at Nestle Canada’s vision:

Our vision is to be the leading nutrition, health and wellness company in Canada bringing Good Food, Good Life to Canadians throughout their lives.

Is this not a drastic and outrageous contrast? The companies abused the public’s trust in their brand name and have harmed tens of thousands of infants by limiting materials for the benefit of, well, conserving money alone… and they are still up and running.

About Valerie Song

CEO & Co-Founder at AVA Smart Garden | Entrepreneur trained by #1 CPGs.

16. September 2010 by Valerie Song
Categories: Business Ethics | 1 comment

One Comment

  1. Although these actions are truly despicable, I think one needs to take caution when judging an entire corporation. Nestle, as you know, is a multinational company, and the actions of one manager of a single division of the company may not necessarily reflect the company’s attitude as a whole. Although I do agree that this action will decrease the public’s confidence in the company, one must also remember the good things, such as the tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of helpful products, that this company provides.

    What Nestle needs to do is trace back the origin of this decision, fire the people responsible and make sure audits are in place so that this type of action does not happen again. Employees need to constantly monitor not only their own personal integrity, but the integrity of their peers and superiors. People should not be afraid to whistleblow on their own corporation if their superiors are doing something very wrong. I think thats the important take away from this article.

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