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Abstract

China’s melamine milk adulteration crisis highlights the challenges that arise as large well-capitalized companies procure raw materials from a diffused supply chain of scattered small farmers and milk collection stations. As milk prices climbed sharply in 2007 and companies branched out into new territories, intense competition for raw milk supplies strengthened incentives to water down and adulterate milk. Effective food safety measures must account for incentives, the distribution of market power in the supply chain and market dynamics.

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