Wal-Mart pulls eggs from China stores

BEIJING, October 28, 2008 (AFP) – Wal-Mart said Tuesday it had pulled a major brand of eggs from its stores in China, as concerns rose that an industrial chemical found in Chinese dairy products was in the nation’s wider food chain. The announcement by the US retail giant came after authorities in Hong Kong said eggs from the same Chinese producer had been found to contain melamine, the chemical at the heart of a scandal in China over contaminated milk.

“Over the past few days, we pulled this brand of eggs off shelves in all our outlets in China,” Wal-Mart spokeswoman Mu Mingming told AFP.

Wal-Mart’s move was the first major recall of eggs in mainland China over melamine fears, but Mu emphasised this was a precautionary measure and that the products from the Hanwei group had not yet been found to be contaminated.

Most other major supermarket chains in China, including France’s Carrefour, said they had issued no such recall.

Four babies died of kidney failure and 53,000 fell ill in China this year after drinking milk or consuming dairy products laced with melamine.

The chemical was apparently mixed into watered-down milk to give it the appearance of having higher protein levels.

The scandal, w