Trader Joe's backs off Chinese goods

Oct. 20, 2007 at 8:30 AM

CHICAGO, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Trader Joe's grocery markets will phase out all single-ingredient products from mainland China by Jan. 1, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Saturday.

"We feel confident that all of our products from China meet the same high quality standards that we set for all of our products," said a statement from the company. "However, our customers have voiced their concerns about products from this region and we have listened."

The change apparently does not affect products with multiple ingredients, some of which may be from China, the Sun-Times reported.

Trader Joe's, a specialty foods chain based in Monrovia, Calif., is owned by Karl and Theo Albrecht, German billionaires who also own the Aldi food chain.

Competitor Whole Foods will continue to sell single-ingredient products from China, which comprise "a very small percentage" of Whole Foods' products, a company statement said.

China has faced numerous exports scandals this year, ranging from contaminated pet food and toothpaste tainted with industrial chemicals to lead-laden toys and jewelry.

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