WASHINGTON - U.S. consumers overwhelmingly support stricter food labeling laws, with 92 percent of Americans wanting to know which country produced the food they are buying, a consumer magazine said on Tuesday.
I don't understand - why bother? Most Americans don't know where Argentina is anyway. And if the problem is all about China, then I suggest we don't import food, or anything that impacts your health from China at all. Their inspections are even more worthless than ours (1). The UN's WHO says at least 300 million Chinese are affected by food-borne illness every year. After all, what's a few million less Chinese anyway to the government there?
As far as food from other countries, some foods pass through three or more countries so I'm not sure of the utility of knowing the food went from Zimbabwe to Chile to Honduras before reaching here.
I have no problem with labeling something China-Free if a company wants to do so, but any more labeling on my food and I won't be able to see what the ingredients are.
Obviously, there is some usefulness in knowing that a product has 5 grams of saturated fat, but what can you learn from a country's origin before there is a problem?
I don't use Chinese made screws in anything for the simple reason that I don't want an expensive painting hanging on a wall getting damaged when the screw breaks as it will since nothing of value comes from China. Perhaps I don't have many problems with Chinese products since I have never shopped in a Wal-Mart and never will. In fact, I have never even stepped into a Wal-Mart in my life. My fellow citizens would be wise to do as well.
It’s bound to go down the wrong way in Beijing: A U.S. health food company will label its products ”China-Free” to ease concerns about contamination.
Food for Health International, based in Orem, Utah, makes whole food nutritional supplements for people and pets, and President Frank Davis said the company will begin trumpeting the fact none of its ingredients come from China.
So how would the cough syrup, antihistamine tablets, or calamine lotion have been labeled in the following case?
5 Jul 2007,
Investigation in Panama Shows 94 People Died From Tainted Medicine
Investigations revealed the chemical was made by a Chinese company that fraudulently passed it off as 99.5 percent pure glycerin, a sweetener commonly used in drugs, to a Spanish company. That company sold it to Panama's Medicom SA, which sold it to a government laboratory.
Newsweek, Weaponized Hamburgers?
In 2001, the then Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson told Congress that food inspections were so porous that the possibility of intentional contamination made him "more fearful... than anything else." In response, Congress gave the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) more money for inspectors and passed the Bioterrorism Act of 2002 to stop or catch attacks on the food supply. But the 600 additional inspectors for imported food are gone, putting us back down to 2001 numbers, and the 2002 law failed its first real test when it took weeks to identify melamine as the pet-food culprit. "The progress we made after 2001 was short-lived," says Caroline Smith DeWaal of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. "The intent of the person adding melamine to the wheat gluten was not as nefarious as that of a terrorist, but the effect could have been just as bad if a more toxic agent had been used [in human food]."