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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Chinese Food Poisoning – It’s Worse Than You Think

I've written previously about the problem of Chinese food products being tainted with everything from banned food additives to antifreeze to downright poison.

According to the BBC, here is a list of just some of the things the Chinese have been CAUGHT putting in food they export …

Medicine contaminated with diethylene glycol (antifreeze) passed off as glycerin.

Gluten spiked with Melamine which poisoned so many of our dogs and cats

Toxic fish contaminated with banned antibiotics and chemicals

Juice with unsafe color additives

Tainted seasoning on snacks.

Pork tainted with clenbuterol, a banned feed additive

Also, toy trains made in China have been found contaminated with lead paint. While not strictly a food product, toddlers like to taste things.

Well, China is really embarrassed by the whole scandal, so it executed its corrupt, duty-derelicting former drug and food safety watchdog chief. Of course, now he can't answer embarrassing questions about the scope of the poisoning or who else in the government (especially his superiors) might have been paid off.

Anyway, his execution won't solve the problem, not by a long shot. Newsweek reveals:

China today resembles nothing so much as the United States a century ago, when robber barons, gangsterism and raw capitalism held sway. Now as then, powerful vested interests are profiting from murky regulations, shoddy enforcement, rampant corruption and a lack of consumer awareness. In the United States during the early 20th century, public outrage over bogus drugs and contaminated foodstuffs, fueled by graphic accounts such as Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle," finally prompted passage of the landmark Pure Food and Drug Act. China needs a similar revolution today if it is to protect its competitiveness and its consumers.

Gee, if only we'd known about this sooner. In a story behind the New York Times firewall, we learn: "In a case echoed by recent poisonings, at least 88 Haitian children were killed in 1996 by medicine made with a toxic syrup sent from China."

That's right! Our government has known Chinese products were unsafe for 11 years.

Well, good thing that at least now – NOW -- we have a food and drug administration here in the US to protect us from tainted Chinese food, right? Oh wait! As CNN tells us:

The 2002 Farm Bill passed by Congress mandated country-of-origin labeling for seafood, beef, lamb, pork, fish, fruits, vegetables and peanuts, but the Bush administration has delayed its implementation for everything except seafood until October 2008.

I'm starting to think the Bush Administration couldn't walk down the hallway without tripping over the wallpaper.

Here's a question for you – if it was al Qaeda doing this, and not China, would we stand for it? No. Hell, no!

Whole Foods Market is looking pretty good right now.

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