Record pollution fine for McDonald's french fry supplier in China for wastewater

BEIJING, China – A french fry supplier to the McDonald’s restaurant chain in China has been issued Beijing’s biggest-ever pollution fine for releasing dirty wastewater, state media reported.

The official Xinhua News Agency said late Wednesday that Beijing environmental officials levied a record fine of 3.8 million yuan, or more than $650,000, against Beijing Simplot Food Processing Co. Ltd.

The company is a joint venture between McDonald’s, the U.S.-owned J.R. Simplot Co. and the Beijing Agricultural, Industrial and Commerce General Co.

Xinhua reported that last November inspectors found waste water discharged by the company contained organic compound levels higher than that allowed. The report said Beijing Simplot was upgrading its sewage treatment facilities at the time of the discharge.

Beijing officials didn’t answer phone calls Thursday.

Chinese officials have announced a crackdown on polluters across the country that has included tougher regulations as well as new rules clarifying who can file lawsuits against polluters.