Friday, August 17, 2012

Why I avoid foods made or packaged in China

Miss D. has sometimes wondered why I check packages of frozen fish and shellfish to see whether or not they were farm-raised and/or packed in China or the Far East.  If they were, I won't buy them, due to the well-known hazards of deliberate chemical pollution.  This isn't the only example of lax legal standards and a general collapse of morality among food producers in that part of the world.  (For example, consider the Chinese milk scandal of 2008.)

The New York Times has just published an excellent overview of the problem.

Toxic preserved fruit is the latest item on China’s expanding list of unsafe food products. Baby formula adulterated with melamine is the best known, but there is also meat containing the banned steroid clenbuterol, rice contaminated with cadmium, noodles flavored with ink and paraffin, mushrooms treated with fluorescent bleach and cooking oil recycled from street gutters. A 2011 study published in the Chinese Journal of Food Hygiene estimated that more than 94 million people in China become ill each year from bacterial food-borne diseases, leading to about 8,500 deaths annually.

China’s food-safety problems highlight both the collapse of the country’s business ethics and the failure of government regulators to keep pace with the expanding market economy. Yet an excessive focus on poor government oversight often means that the much graver problem of disintegrating civic morality is neglected.

. . .

The destruction of Confucianism during the Cultural Revolution and the hollowing out of communism during the recent reform era left behind a vacuum of belief. This was quickly filled in by materialism.

. . .

[The] single-minded pursuit of material interests is now threatening China’s moral baseline. In a nationwide, online survey of nearly 23,000 adults last October, about 82 percent of respondents agreed that China has experienced a significant moral decline over the past decade ... more than half of the respondents also said they did not think that complying with ethical standards was a necessary condition for success.

There's more at the link.  I highly recommend reading the whole thing.  Follow the links I embedded in the first quoted paragraph to read more about the problems involved.

This is why, if I can help it, I won't buy foods made, processed or packaged in China.  You simply don't know whether or not it's safe.  I strongly advise my readers to do likewise.

(Put it this way - after reading the article cited above, and those I linked within it, if you still think it's safe to buy Chinese food exports, there's a bridge in Brooklyn, NYC I'd like to sell you.  Cash only, please, and in small bills.)



Glenn B said...

And to think, if I ate a few hashish laced brownies - I could be a felon!

JC said...

I boycott (actually mancott, i'm over 50) all Chinese products due to the lao gai system of slave labor. You Know What I'm Talking About).

Want to get YKWITA meme worthy.

SiGraybeard said...

In response to the Chinese problem, our insect overlords passed the Food Safety Act so they can raid raw milk producers, and shut down roadside fruit stands where people sell some fruit from their own trees.

That sort of law is always going to pass because no one will go on record as being opposed to food safety, but it never addresses the real problems. It's always easier to go after the little guy who can't afford a team of lawyers.

Anonymous said...

Yep. We're called 'Chinese Checkers'. Sad as there are few places you can 'shop' that don't get their products from China. There is a site (made in the USA or something like that. Google it).

Thousands of dogs and cats were murdered by melamine/cyanuric acid contamination. (Last I checked there were 3,000 documented cases in the US alone and 20,000 claims in US and Canada - and this was a few years ago as I lost the heart to keep track after my own heartbreak).

Documented Cases. Vets back it up with kidney failure measurements AFTER eating one of the recalled foods. Young dogs with good kidneys, 3 weeks later, dead from kidney failure. And that doesn't include the ones that were caught in time - but never recovered full health.

Lots of broken hearts... small and large.

Nothing was done. Our 'fair' government (OURS) was forced to admit that the number was someone larger than they reported.

But they were just 'pets'. Right?

Mao lives... They don't care how many (humans) die, if it is in the name of the collective.

Slave and prison labor, this is well documented.

Organ sales

They sell 'bodies' to put on display with that disgusting exhibit that has been contaminating American cities...

I am SICKED by our 'one world' policy. It is politically incorrect to not want to do business with a country that makes a business out of murder. I have been accused of being a 'racist' on Amazon for griping about an inferior product I was sold by Amazon that came from.. Wait for it! You don't have to. You know.

(I am sorry to not edit this better, but I shake with impotent anger at this...)

I remain anonymous. I have no more trust in anything....

Anonymous said...

Most of the meats and vegetables one would find at the "dollar stores" is Chinese, but it's dismaying how much of it is in regular grocery stores.


Home on the Range said...

Good point on the dollar store, almost everything edible there seems to be from China.

I'll pass.

Anonymous said...

Any one any where Belive that these problems are not mistakes and that they should be view as NBC warfair. under the B or C of the NBC warfair. How about the pet food from commie china that kills our pets and the lead Pb that is in commie china make toys they send over here. And who owns a Giger counter to inspect all this commie chinse stuff that comes over here?
Denfently NBC warfair done to the United States.
And that is not a security problem?
and me wearing shoes to an airport is?