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Dow Jones reports that "trade loading" is the focus of a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) probe that General Mills is facing related to its accounting and sales practices.

Trade loading is when a company ships extra products to retailers ahead of customer demand, as a way of inflating sales and a company's stock price.

General Mills has said that its procedures comply with SEC rules, and that it is cooperating with the probe.

General Mills was first contacted by the SEC when the agency was looking into its relationship with Ahold, which has been the subject of an ongoing probe related to its accounting scandal.
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