Nestl apology not accepted

Italian health minister to continue lawsuit over milk dispute

Editorial Staff
December 1, 2005

Italian Health Minister Francesco Storace stated on Friday, November 25 that he would continue with his lawsuit against Nestlé CEO Peter Brabeck, despite a formal letter of apology for the dispute that was created over the seizure of contaminated baby milk. Brabeck’s letter included a complete apology for any damages that may have been caused by his false statements over the pastfew days. Nevertheless, Minister Storace said he would press ahead with his lawsuit.


On the preceding Tuesday, Italian police said they seized 30 million litres of Nestlé baby milk after tests showed they contained traces of a chemical compound, IsopropilThioXantone (ITX), used in the printing of the company’s logo and design on the milk cartons. Laboratory tests carried out by regional health authorities in the Marche region confirmed there were traces of ITX in the milk in a number of cartons, although they did not show that the traces were toxic, police said.


In full-page advertisements placed in leading Italian newspapers, Nestlé said the recall of the potentially contaminated products in Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal was a measure of precaution for consu-mers. The Swiss food corporation had also accused Italy of blowing the incident out of proportion, reiterating that the recall was a precautionary move.


Storace is suing Brabeck for alleging that his mini-stry knew about the problem as far back as July and not in September, when he alerted the European Union. In his letter, Brabeck withdrew claims that Nestlé had agreed with EU and Italy’s Health Ministry back in July that the possibly tainted products should be allowed to expire while Nestlé changed the production process for future products.Brabeck apologised for his accusations, writing that a lapse in memory led him to date the contacts with the health ministry to July rather than September.

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