by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) July 11, 2013
US baby formula maker Mead Johnson is to cut prices in China by seven to 15 percent, it said, confirming it was cooperating with an anti-trust probe by Chinese authorities.
It is the latest response from a foreign formula producer after the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner, launched an investigation into high prices it claimed resulted from a monopoly-like situation, mostly targeting overseas firms.
Mead Johnson will "fully cooperate" with the inquiry, it said in a statement late Wednesday.
"Mead Johnson Nutrition strives to provide safe and high-quality products at good value to all consumers and continues to attach great importance to China," it said.
China has been hit by several food safety scandals in recent years, with a 2008 milk scandal involving tainted formula killing six children and sickening 300,000 across the country.
As a result there is huge demand for foreign brand formula due to customer perceptions of quality, and China is the world's biggest market for the product.
Besides Mead Johnson, other foreign firms named by state media as being under scrutiny include France's Danone, Swiss food giant Nestle's unit Wyeth Nutrition, Dutch RoyalFriesland Campina, and Abbott Laboratories.
Those four companies have all already announced price cuts.
China imported 445,000 tonnes of formula in the first half of this year, up 24.8 percent from the same period in 2012, according to Customs data.
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