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Mexico president urges dialogue to resolve dairy dispute

Credit: REUTERS/HENRY ROMERO

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday there will be dialogue with companies which have had the sale of some dairy products suspended, and that the government did not intend to harm the firms, but rather protect public health.

Adds context; Danone response

MEXICO CITY, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday there will be dialogue with companies which have had the sale of some dairy products suspended, and that the government did not intend to harm the firms, but rather protect public health.

Mexico's economy ministry has suspended the sale of over 20 dairy products for breaching standards, including cheese from U.S.-based Mondelez International Inc. MDLZ.Oand yogurt from France's Danone <DANO.PA>. [nL1N2H50WE]

"It's not our aim to harm the companies... we just need to protect the health of the people," Lopez Obrador told his daily news conference.

Of the 19 cheese brands affected, the violations included erroneously claiming to be "100% milk," using vegetable fat to replace milk, and providing a lower net content in grams than advertised on the packaging, the economy ministry said on Wednesday.

Mondelez responded that it had not been promptly notified by the ministry and was seeking dialogue with the government, while Danone said it had already replaced labels on certain products. On Thursday Danone added that it was reaching out to the economy ministry to resolve the issue.

(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon Editing by Dave Graham)

((daina.solomon@thomsonreuters.com; +52 55 5282 7150;))

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