Should you buy Chinese foodstuffs?

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Should you buy Chinese foodstuffs?

Just how safe is that can of tomatoes from China?

Recently in the news there have been revelations about the poisons and poor quality of some food products shipped from China. Concerns range from toothpaste, to pet food, to poor quality seafood.

Further examples of bad practice have been published from within China itself. Feeding pigs waste water to make them weigh heavier and poisoned cardboard replacing pork in Chinese food are two recent examples.

But one thing that seems to be missing is concern over contaminants in food shipped from China because of pollution to the water or air where the produce is grown.

Just what is the quality of the water in a can of tomatoes, or a can fruit? How can we be sure that cheap products, produced in a society with tremendous pollution problems and lax quality standards, is safe?

Look at this for example...

As many as 300 million people are drinking contaminated water every day, and 190 million are suffering from water-related illnesses each year. If air pollution is not controlled, it says, there will be 600,000 premature deaths in urban areas and 20 million cases of respiratory illness a year within 15 years.

China's water quality causes the researchers great concern. One third of the length of all China's rivers are now "highly polluted" as are 75% of its major lakes and 25% of all its coastal waters. Nearly 30,000 children die from diarrhea due to polluted water each year.

"A majority of the water flowing through China's urban areas is unsuitable for drinking or fishing," the report says.

Although China is the world's fourth largest economy, growing 10% a year and closing rapidly on the US, Japan and Germany, its environmental standards are often closer to those in some of the poorest countries in the world, says the report.

More than 17,000 towns have no sewage works at all and the human waste from nearly a billion people is barely collected or treated. Nearly 70% of the rural population have no access to safe sanitation.


Low environmental standards are now making people wary of buying Chinese goods, Lorents Lorentsen, OECD's environmental director said.
... Quote:
If you have a reputation for being a polluted country, then you have a bad trademark abroad. It's very hard to sell pharmaceuticals, to sell food and feed from a country that has a reputation for being polluted.



http://www.guardian.co.uk/china/story/0,,2128568,00.html

How much of this pollution is being shipped to unsuspecting people int he west used to much higher levels of quality control. if we saw the conditions and the inputs to the produce we buy would we still be so unconcerned about it?


 http://www.nytimes.com/2007...
By netchicken: posted on 18-7-2007

Look at this...

In the past year, the FDA rejected a higher proportion of food shipments from China than from any other country.

The rejected shipments make an unappetizing list. Inspectors commonly block Chinese food imports because they're "filthy." That's the official term.

... Quote:
They might smell decomposition. They might see gross contamination of the food. 'Filthy' is a broad term for a product that is not fit for human consumption,
Hubbard says.

Another rejection code is "vet-drug-res.
... Quote:
That means the food product, usually things like fish, seafood and eels, contains residues of veterinary drugs, such as antibiotics and antifungals.

These fish are often raised in polluted water, unfortunately. So they're given these drugs to treat them
Hubbard says.

Drug residues in food are illegal. They promote antibiotic resistance, which makes drugs useless when they're needed. One drug that routinely shows up in Chinese food imports is dangerous. It's a veterinary antibiotic that causes cancer in animals.

When Hubbard was at the FDA, he heard all kinds of stories about foreign food processors, like the one a staffer told him after visiting a Chinese factory that makes herbal tea.

... Quote:
To speed up the drying process, they would lay the tea leaves out on a huge warehouse floor and drive trucks over them so that the exhaust would more rapidly dry the leaves out.

And the problem there is that the Chinese use leaded gasoline, so they were essentially spewing the lead over all these leaves.

Hubbard says.

That lead-contaminated herbal tea would only be caught by FDA inspectors at the border if they knew to look for it, Hubbard says.

"The system is so understaffed now that what is being caught and stopped is only a fraction of the food that's actually slipping through the net," he says.

 http://www.npr.org/template...
By netchicken: posted on 18-7-2007

Here is a partial list of refused imports to the USA from China for June alone..

 http://www.fda.gov/ora/oasi...

CANNED WATER CHESTNUTS
FROZEN ROASTED EEL
DRIED FRUIT
ANML DIET SUPL
RED YEAST RICE P.E
FROZEN SHRIMP
Preserved Kumquat (light yellow)
Preserved Licoriced Lemon
Preserved Starfruit
Preserved Kumquat (orange)
Dried Peach Strips
Dried Lemon
Preserved Plum
Dried Mandarin Peel
Preserved Haw
Preserved Ginger
Sticky Paws Dog Treats-Chews
FRZ PEELED BREADED SHRIMP
RZ RAW BREADED BUTTERFLY PEELED SHRIMP
SLICED GINGER IN SWEET VINEGAR
FROZEN DUSTED SHRIMP
FROZEN FLOUR DUSTED SHRIMP
PANAX GINSENG EXTRACT
FROZEN BROILED EEL
WET TISSUES
ANTIBACTERIAL WET WIPES
HairPRO laser hair treatment
DRIED BAMBOO LEAF
8" LAMB & RICE RAWHIDE COMPRESSED BONE
DEHYDRATED TOMATO FLAKES
SOY PROTEIN
WHITE GOURD DRINK
SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE
CANNED CHUNK LIGHT TUNA IN WATER
STRAWBERRIES
APPLES
PRESERVED PRUNE
CONDOMS
FROZEN WHOLE STRAWBERRIES
FROZEN BROILED EEL
SHEN CHU HERBAL TEA
PRESERVED PRUNE
LIQUORICED KUMQUAT
GUILINGGAO JELLY
INSTANT NATURAL KELP
DRIED FENNEL
RICE VERMICELLI
GLUTEN ROLLS
RICE STICK
DRIED MUSHROOMS
FRESH CRAB MEAT
FRESH CATFISH FILLETS
FRESH CRACKERS
FROZEN CATFISH FILLETS
ROASTED, SEASONED EEL
DANDELION ROOT POWDER
RED DATE WITHOUT STONE
SELECTED JUJUBE DATE
HONEYED DATE
HARD HONEY DATES
FROZEN SALMON FILLETS
MUNG BEAN SHEET
FROZEN SEAFOOD MIXED
By netchicken: posted on 18-7-2007

That is sickening.

Does New Zealand import foods from China, too?
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 18-7-2007

Yeah we do, its crazy.

The debate on another site on this topic is do you buy a more expensive can of local apricots, or a cheaper can of chinese apricots.

Some people now think they will pay more to get peace of mind.

Here
 http://pressf1.pcworld.co.n...
By netchicken: posted on 18-7-2007








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