The hearing of the CEO of Lactalis, Emmanuel Besnier, by the parliamentary commission of inquiry into the handling of the case of baby milk contaminated with salmonella has hovered in a face-to-face tense on Thursday morning, the deputies criticized the group for its lack of transparency.
“I renew my apologies to the families of sick babies, those who are worried,” said Mr. Besnier in the beginning of the hearing. “We have failed our mission, we will never have enough words to apologize”, he assured. “It is absolutely not a fraud. We had no knowledge of the presence of salmonella in our products”, added the CEO.
But the tone is quickly assembled between the two parties, mps returning to the attempt of Lactalis to interrupt the work of the commission at the end of April, suggesting the simultaneous existence of a criminal investigation. “Are you going to continue with your advice to try to torpedo this commission ?”, has launched the president of the commission, Christian Hutin (left), recalling that, in this commission “has no interest in harming this group, we want to restore the confidence of consumers”.
“It is unbearable to hear from you”
“It is unbearable to hear from you,” said his side the mp MoDem Richard Ramos, accusing the boss of Besnier to have refused to meet the association of families of victims. “We have not been able to meet them because we are in a judicial procedure”, is justified by Mr. Besnier. He added that “the Lactalis group was different from the image that one wants to assign to it”, explaining that he had assumed the character of the discretion of the company, “because it is related to my personality”, but “some want to transform this discretion into opacity, it is a mistake”.
By the end of 2017, 36 infants were diagnosed with salmonellosis after drinking a baby milk brands Picot and Milumel product in its factory of Craon in Mayenne. The causes of the disease in two other infants are still being sought.
(Source : AFP)