In 2011, Wall Street Journal.com reported, “Ink, dye, bleach and toxic chemicals … have been found recently in food products in China, reigniting fears over food safety despite repeated government pledges to crack down on tainted eats.”
Sounds bad, but don’t judge China before reading this entire two-part series to discover that China is not alone in the struggle to make food safer to eat.
It isn’t as if China’s government is not trying to improve food safety. In 2011, Al-Jazeera’s Melissa Chang reported from Beijing about China’s government vowing to improve food safety laws. In fact, according to Melissa Chang, more than 2,000 people across the country were arrested for failing to meet food safety standards.
The Wall Street Journal said, “One of the biggest issues is the drive to make a buck at any cost, says Lester Ross, a Beijing-based attorney with U.S. law firm Wilmer Hale. Some companies see that by using additives, they can cut overhead costs or boost profit margins, and they merely aren’t thinking about the affects the additives will have on consumers, Mr. Ross says.”
Melissa Chang demonstrated how a chemical sauce to turn meats such as pork into beef can change any meat that isn’t beef into beef so the enterprising capitalist can charge more and increase profits.
Is that capitalism at work?
Since living in China means awareness of such trickery, “Many Chinese,” Chang says, “pay a premium to know exactly where the food they eat comes from.”
Chang then talked about an organic food cooperative in the suburbs of Beijing, which was established by families to buy directly from organic farmers and the project was successful.
However, Chang said, “Even the best intentions (may) go awry.” Organic in China doesn’t mean the food would qualify as organic outside of China since so much of the air and water is polluted there. It is a challenge to grow quality produce. Achieving better standards will take years.”
What about food safety in the U.S.? Continued on December 23, 2015, in Part 2
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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