Chinese Milk Scandal

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Chinese Milk Scandal

Chinese Milk Scandal


Recent scandal of Chinese companies involved in milk production put a significant focus on the importance of ethics in business (Heugens & Scherer, 2010). The scandal is regarded as a serious incident related to food safety that caused the death of six babies and affected more than 300,000 children with the adverse affects of baby milk and other products produced by Chinese companies using melamine. In fact, in 2008, the compound was found in dairy products from 22 factories in China among which five were milk producing company in the country. The scandal sparked outrage among Chinese consumers and terror among parents, and led to an international inquiry on the quality control of the food produced in the Asian giant (Cheng, 2012).

The role of ethics in business is critical as, in the real sense, business ethics can be seen as a set of rules and laws of business based on common values. The concept of value means that every individual who belongs to the society has their preference (Heugens & Scherer, 2010). In fact, social values include qualities such as conscience, correctness, respect, justice, etc. In terms of business, it matches the quality of products, customer satisfaction, health and safety, and compliance with the rules in the advertising of the product. In the context of Chinese milk scandal, it would be fair to say that ethics is based on respect for the interests of not only the companies involved in this scandal but also the partners, customers, and society that affected by the milk products (Ip, 2009). The most important thing to know is that Ethics advocates acceptance of benefits with the maximum number of market participants and equal access to them. The purpose of this paper is to provide an introduction to the issue of ethics in business in the context of Chinese milk scandal of 2008.


Milk Scandal

As reported by the state news agency Xinhua, the quality of the products in some milk producing companies in the province of Gansu was affected by the use of melamine in milk and dairy factories (Custance et al., 2012). It is important to know that laboratory tests showed that the milk powder contained up to 500 times the maximum permissible level of melamine. The use of the substance by the major Chinese dairy companies, including one of the most prestigious, Sanlu Group, in 2008 caused the deaths of six babies and poisoned another 300,000, sparking a major health scares in the country in recent years. In addition, few months ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) established the limits of melamine in liquid and solid foods from 1 to 2.5 milligrams per kilo in order to combat the toxic effects of this compound (Custance et al., 2012).

The most important thing to know is that melamine is used in plastics, adhesives, paints, dyes. Melamine poisoning can trigger the appearance of eczema, affects the condition of the upper respiratory tract, and stones in kidney, liver and ...