If you read Part 1 of this two part series, you may be thinking it isn’t safe to eat in China.
However, Wall Street Journal.com says, “Struggles with food safety are not a specifically Chinese problem. Many countries, including the U.S. and Japan, have gone through similar growing pains in the food industry, says Wu Ming, a professor at Beijing University’s school of public health.”
Professor Ming is correct. Down to Earth.org reports, “Every day in the US about 200,000 people become sick, 900 are hospitalized and 14 die (that’s more than 5,000 annually) due to food borne illnesses (and few if any are punished for these deaths). According to the Center for Disease Control, about one quarter of the American population suffers from food poisoning each year.”
New U.S. Laws for food safety cover all food except meat, poultry and some egg products and there are other exceptions too.
If you believe China is not doing anything about food safety, think again. I Googled total arrests in China over food safety and the result was more than 1.5 million hits. The first one mentioned 191 officials (in 2010 — meaning government employees) that were punished for failing to do their duty in food safety,” and some were sent to prison.
The second hit mentioned 774 (in 2007) arrested in China over food safety.
In addition, Sustainable Business Forum.com says, “Unlike the U.S., China arrests Food Safety Violators.”
Helena Bottemiller of Food Safety News.com recently reported, “Current statutes (in the U.S.) do not provide sufficient criminal sanctions for those who knowingly violate our food safety laws,” said Leahy, who has become an outspoken advocate of food safety reform. “Knowingly distributing adulterated food is merely a misdemeanor right now, and the Sentencing Commission has found that it generally does not result in jail time.”
In conclusion, if you are in the food industry in China and want to take short cuts regarding food safety to boost profits while possibly killing people along the way, the U.S. is a safer place to commit murder. In China, you might go to jail or even be executed.
What does that say about America?
Return to or start with Punishing Food Fraud in China – Part 1
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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What does that say about US?
To me it says if I get sick on mom’s cooking in China at least I can be assured mom will go to prison.
I think it means that the Chinese punish the food supplier and not the parent that cooks the food after he or she buys it from the market, food stall or farmer’s market. These laws are designed to punish the manufacturers of processed foods that take short cuts to increase profits by ignoring safety rules and/or introducing poisonous chemicals to increase shelf life and/or flavor for profit.
Coke once added addictive drugs to their sodas to create hooked customers. Although cigarettes are not a food, cigarette companies also did this.
American food processing companies have chemists that work on foods to enhance flavor and addictive qualities to hook customers and increase profits. Fast food chains are famous for this. What happens to them when this backfires and people get sick?
For example, farm raised salmon often does not have that reddish pink meat color that we see in wild salmon so the salmon farmers add a chemical die to the fish feed to turn the meat the same color as wild salmon. Research has discovered that some colored dies such as these can lead to health problems later.
Many American food manufactures want to put “ORGANIC” on the labels of the food they produce even when it isn’t Organic and have lobbied Washing DC politicians for years to allow them to do this while the organic farmers and people that buy organic food fight back to stop this from happening.
Most tainted meat is cooked until it is well done usually sees the dangerous bacteria killed off by cooking. Sloppy cooking leaving meat bloody may lead to illness.
I understand it is the same with eggs. If you cook a runny egg because you like your egg runny and not cooked well done like a hard-boiled egg, the risk of getting sick is higher.
I have not read that China punishes mothers that cook the food at home. In fact, I doubt if this happens unless the mother deliberately poisons her family because she cannot stand them anymore. If caught, she would go to jail for murder.
The people that go to prison are the managers of the factories where the tainted food was prepared and safety rules were ignored or when a government food inspector accepted a bribe to ignore safety violations in the food factories, which is what happens in the US too.
Did you know that salmonella and that taint 80% of processed chicken in the US only cooking the chicken until it is well done will kill these dangerous bacteria?
In addition, 80% of milk in the US had been found to carry bovine leukemia virus because the pasteurization process does not kill off all of the viruses. The reason so much of the dairy products form factory farms is tainted with this dangerous virus is that the milk is mixes in huge tanks before it is pasteurized.
And, many cattle feed lots would take the cattle that food inspectors said wasn’t fit for human consumption and grind those tainted animals up and feed them back to the other cattle, which are supposed to be vegetarians, to add more protein to the feed so the cattle will gain more meet. This had led to some horrible disease in humans where the brain starts to dissolve. This is against the law in the US now but occasionally feedlots are still caught doing this practice to save money and boost profits. I knew someone I worked with that this happened to. She ate some of this tainted meat in the US and her brain was infected. It was her death sentence and no one was punished.