Meat safety scandal: OSI challenges China's court

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

OSI was convicted of supplying substandard meat to fast-food chains like McDonald's
OSI was convicted of supplying substandard meat to fast-food chains like McDonald's

Related tags: Law, Beef, Pork, Poultry

US food firm OSI has reacted furiously to a Chinese court ruling, which claimed the company had supplied substandard food products to fast-food chains in China, including McDonald’s.

The verdict marks the conclusion of a long-running probe into OSI after a safety scandal over meat products at the Shanghai Husi plant emerged.

OSI has labelled the court’s decision as an “injustice​” against its employees and the reputation of the company.

The Chinese court has handed prison sentences to 10 OSI employees – including one Australian citizen – and ordered the company to pay 2.4m yuan ($364,875).

Smear campaign

After 17 months of legal proceedings, detainment of Husi employees for as long as 17 months, a harmful smear campaign driven by state‐owned media, as well as the denial of entry of press and senior OSI leaders to all court proceedings, the court of jurisdiction has reached an unjust verdict,​” OSI Group said in a statement on 1 February 2016.

We have made every effort to follow firm instructions to silently cooperate, on the advice it would lead to a fair conclusion. However, we can no longer accept injustices against our people and our reputation.​”

OSI said Dragon TV’s media reports, which led to a raid on the group’s Shanghai Husi plant in July 2014, were “sensationalised​”.

Distortion of facts

Dragon TV made false and incomplete accusations that ignored facts and Chinese law. After an actual investigation was completed, all authorities involved have recognised that this case has never been about food safety. The distortion of facts and evidence by Dragon TV and the general media clearly influenced the verdict.​”

OSI said it would appeal the Jiading District People’s Court’s verdict through all legal channels and described the ruling as “inconsistent with the facts and evidence​”.

The company, which has been doing business in China for more than 25 years, said it would file a separate lawsuit against Dragon TV for defamation.

Related topics: Meat

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