Walmart officials are assisting food and industry agencies track down the problem with local suppliers, but in the meantime, Walmart’s reputation is slipping with this second incident of tainted or mislabeled meat. For Walmart, image is everything in the world’s largest grocery market, where an estimated $1.5 trillion in profits is anticipated by the end of 2016.
Donkey meat, while being a common snack in China, only accounts for a small percentage of total meat consumption. Only 2.4 million donkeys were slaughtered in 2011.
Meat contamination should raise real red flags with American consumers. Last year the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the processing of meat “products” in China without labels telling consumers where the meat is from.
In a country that has known deadly vinegar, melamine laced baby formula, maggot infested pork, rat meat being sold as lamb, and cancer medicines made of asphalt, all of which have found their way to the American market, questions are being raised about the wisdom of green-lighting the sale of meat in the U.S. that is neither processed or inspected in the U.S. Processing American-raised chicken in China’s factories allows companies to side-step laws regarding the labeling of food with “country of origin” labels (known as COOL).
Currently there is no way to ensure that Chinese-raised chicken meat will not work its way into the American food supply as their is no inspection requirements of any kind in place.