Ethical Behavior Issues In Handling Food and Beverage Products Returned to a Manufacturing Company and Retail Stores
The well-being of a consumer is linked with ethical marketing of the products. The food and beverage is one of the industries where ethical marketing has substantial considerations especially when it comes to handling the products. (Lim, 2016). Sanlu manufacturing firms in China is one of the manufacturing companies whose products were returned to the company and its retail stores because they were tainted. The food safety regulator in China discovered extreme melamine levels in samples that were tested. The Food and Drug administration in China indicated that a lot of melamine was found in batches of milk powder commodities manufactured by Sanlu dairy firm. The administration further demanded all consumers to return tainted milk to the manufacturer (Lim, 2016).
Sanlu Milk powder contributed to deaths of 4 people and 6244 confirmed cases by 18th Sep, 2008, because of its melamine. Inspection of the goods indicated that a few batches of the products of 20% had melamine and as a result were defective commodities, among which there were well recognized brands like Yili, Mengniu, Guangming. Melamine is a poisonous chemical that results in kidney stones especially in babies. Customers refused to purchase these products and were returned to the company. It was this incident that ruined the entire dairy industry and food industry (Su, Yong. et. Al, 2008). The ethical issues in this incident include the following; In Sanlu’s case, even if there were other measures put in place, the total utility attained by putting melamine was not a greatest one. Accordingly, it was immoral for Sanlu to do so. Pain or happiness is not only applicable to wrong doers, but also individuals influenced by a particular behavior. This implies that the pain experienced by children and parents whose children used the milk is greater than the beneficiaries’ happiness. When assessing the Sanlu milk incident, one must put into consideration consumer’s sufferings, the chain impact on the food industry and the dairy enterprises.
Furthermore, Sanlu also infringed on the moral and legal rights of consumers as indicated in the constitution of People’s Republic of China (Su, Yong. Et al, 2008). The company was also against the code on fair transaction and this is because it failed to accomplish its role in taking care of their customers as stipulated in their contracts. The key objective of moral life is to practice and display virtues and also cultivate them. It only becomes moral when display and practice values are enhanced. What Sanlu did was quite dissimilar and can only be characterized as immoral behavior.
Additionally, Sanlu should maintain their commitments outlined in agreements in assuring the safety and quality of their produces. They should also inform their clients the nutrients included in their commodities. Based on the theory of social cost, enterprises should be accountable for all expenses caused by their product’s defects.
In conclusion, after the incident of Sanlu Milk, people keep on wondering why the company did so. From the perception of business ethics, it can be concluded that Sanlu’s behavior is against business ethics and fails to take into consideration the social accountabilities of customers. The incident can be attributed to factors like the poor moral quality of the entrepreneur. Their tainted products damaged their own interest and the interests of the entire society.
Lim, V. (2016). Tainted milk: Unraveling China’s melamine scandal. Thinkbusiness.nus.edu. Retrieved 18 June 2016, from http://thinkbusiness.nus.edu/articles/item/118-tainted-milk-unravelling-china’s-melamine-scandal.
Su, Yong. et. al. (2008). Chinese Business Ethics. Shanghai: Oriental Publishing Center