Punishing Food Fraud in China – Part 1/2

August 14, 2011

This is how capitalism works. Wall Street Journal.com reports, “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 do not judge the Chinese before reading this entire two part series to find out 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. Al-Jazeera’s Melissa Chang reports 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 have been arrested for failing to meet food safety standards.

The Wall Street Journal says, “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 WilmerHale. 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 demonstrates 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.

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 talks about an organic food cooperative in the suburbs of Beijing, which was established by families to buy directly from organic farmers and the project has proven to be very successful.

However, Chang says, “Even the best intentions (may) go awry.” Organic in China doesn’t mean the food would qualify as organic outside 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,” Chang says.

However, what about food safety in the U.S.?

Continued on August 15, 2011 in Punishing Food Fraud in China – Part 2


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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Enough, Already!

December 2, 2010

Christopher Bodeen of the Associated Press reported that a Chinese father was punished for food safety activism.

The AP wasn’t the only Western media to go ballistic with this story.

Amnesty International jumped in along with BBC News, Forbes, and CBS News among others. 

In the West, this type of story sells newspapers and boosts ratings for the five and ten o’clock news.

Be assured, this story will be “milked” for all it is worth.

The father of a three-year old child that was sickened by melamine-tainted milk, Zhao Lianhai, was convicted and sentenced Wednesday to 2 1/2 years in prison for inciting social disorder (in China), his lawyer said.

Bodeen’s lead in the AP piece was a masterpiece to appeal to Western anger. “A father who organized a support group for other parents whose children were sickened in one of China’s worst food safety scandals was convicted and sentenced…”

However, if you grew up in a Western culture and are capable of not seeing red, I suggest you read the rest of Bodeen’s piece before you start shouting. 

It also helps to understand how the Mandate of Heaven has affected Chinese civilization for more than two thousand years. Chinese history is filled with bloody rebellions and insurrections that were allowed to get out of hand.

In China, it is often better to make a mistake by throwing someone in jail than risking another Cultural Revolution or Taiping Rebellion where an estimated fifty million died.

What the government did sounds more like “Enough Already!”  The guy just wouldn’t get the hint and had to be hit upside the head.

After all, the event happened in 2008. Lianhai has had almost three years to protest before the government sent him to jail to shut him up.
In fact, there was a trial for the people behind the tainted milk and justice was served.
Three people got the death penalty.
The general manager and chair woman of Sanlu, the company at the heart of the scandal, was given a life sentence.

Dozens of officials, dairy executives and farmers were punished for allowing the contamination to take place.

When this type of tainted food scandal happens in the US, few go to prison and sometimes there is no justice even in court.

What China should do is free Linahai and send him and his family to the US where he can protest all he wants about tainted American food.

In fact, we need Linahai here.

Sarah Francis at MomsRising.org says that each year in the U.S., more than 76 million people get sick and more than 5,000 die from food-borne diseases.

The problem is that there are so many people protesting in the US, few listen unless you belong to the Tea Party.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.