Punishing Food Fraud in China – Part 2/2

August 15, 2011

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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