China Beats Our Meat

Zheng Xiaoyu, the former director of China's State Food and Drug Administration
Zheng Xiaoyu
Photo Credit: LA Times

In my post The Portuguese Reconquista and New Jersey Bookies I state that the Portuguese established the first and longest-lived global empire in history. In 1498 Vasco da Gama set out from Lisbon in search of spices. He came upon the center of the India-China spice trade at the Malabarian Coast. Finding Chinese Tea made Portugal a major maritime power for more than two hundred years.

In those days, China had very little competition for tea and so had little incentive to find shortcuts in its production and handling. Today, Chinese entrepreneurs can make millions by allowing inferior production methods or closing one's eyes to tainted and cheaper ingredients finding its way into the final product.

Zheng Xiaoyu, the former director of China's State Food and Drug Administration, is seen in a meeting of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing.

China, miffed that America refuses to buy its tainted and poisoned products, has suspended imports from several major U.S. meat processors.

Frozen poultry products from Tyson Foods Inc. were "contaminated" with salmonella, according to the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, which agency obviously does not do Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine on its own locally-produced foods.

The agency also banned frozen chicken feet from Sanderson Farms, Inc. because of an alleged residue found of an anti-parasite drug, as well as frozen pork ribs from Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. containing a leanness-enhancing feed additive.

Here are my observations:

  1. It is obvious that American food does not have enough poisons and infectious material to be allowed to be sold to the general Chinese public. To let in healthy products in China would place the local businesses at a terrific disadvantage.

  2. And even if our food was really tainted, now that they executed Zheng Xiaoyu, the former head of their food and drug safety agency, there is no one around to take bribes to allow the stuff to come in.

By the way, in olden times, that is to say during the Cultural Revolution, Xiaoyu would probably have been put to death for having a missing vowel in his name or some other equally significant crime.

In a previous post I suggested that we not import food, or anything that impacts our health from China at all. You would be surprised to learn how many of those things there are, it ain't just food or cosmetics.

30 Jun 2007,
Tires the latest issue with Chinese imports

A lawyer whose Philadelphia clients allege in a lawsuit that faulty Chinese-made tires caused a fatal car crash last year says millions of suspect tires may have been sold in the United States, far more than initial estimates.

The crash was one of at least two that led to a recall of the tires, and the latest in a string of alerts about the safety of products manufactured in China.
The federal government has demanded the recall of 450,000 tires made by the Chinese firm Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. that FTS distributed in the United States.

China is actually like a terrible virus that doesn't care if it destroys its host. It's bad enough that China makes inferior and dangerous products, it also kills the local industry of its host country. Take India and its torch light (flashlight) industry for example:

Hindu Business Line,
Indian companies being `torch'ed by Chinese imports

IT is now the turn of domestic torch light manufacturers, both in the organised and unorganised sectors, to feel the heat of imports from China.

Starting from November last year, these cheap Chinese torch lights are being imported into the country in huge quantities. Of the total torch imports, more than 90 per cent came from China.

These torches are coming in all sorts of configurations, but in all the cases, the value of these products are under- priced, and as a result, all are under-invoiced.
According to him, uneven competition from Chinese products has already killed the unorganised players. It is hitting the organised players now.

According to him, brass look-alike torches made of sheet metal are being imported into India at unbelievable prices like Rs 5-6 per piece.

Even the quality of the bulb and the switch is nowhere near to that of the Indian torches. These products are then sold by Indian wholesalers at around Rs 20-23 per piece.

"The import price is available on the import documents. It is an unrealistic price. We have investigated and found that the cost of producing even such a poor quality torch in China is about Rs 30 per piece,'' Mr Chaki told Business Line.
Mr R.K. Gulati, a leading player in the industry and Secretary of the association, said that the most of the producers have stopped producing torches. "They have started other businesses,'' he said.

One of the saddest things to see is how Wal-Mart, by constantly forcing its vendors to come up with cheaper products each year eventually forces any local industry to set up shop in China where controls are almost non-existent and labor practices border on slavery. Any company that sells to Wal-Mart eventually goes out of business. The next time you get sick or ill, check your medicine cabinet and see if you purchased anything Chinese from Wal-Mart and then get yourself a lawyer. Normally I am opposed to Americans being overly litigious [see the Roy L. Pearson case], but when it comes to predators like Wal-Mart one can't sue enough. The company has no care for its customers, employees or any other entity it does business with.

In case you want to know, I am for unbridled Capitalism; I see nothing wrong with monopolies provided they are not propped up by government, and I am very pro-business. However, Wal-Mart does not do things strictly by being the best but by extortion, lying, cheating, and slavery. Usually it sets up shop in a locality by extorting low or no taxes from a municipality and gets government handouts for road build-outs, infrastructure, employee training and so on with the promise of bringing jobs to a city. In the end, those who used to be unemployed and sucking on the welfare teat end up employed by Wal-Mart and still sucking on the welfare teat. The cities lose whatever small businesses they had and those owners abandon their buildings leaving fewer taxes for the cities' coffers. And since Wal-Mart usually gets some sweetheart tax deals the cities have no one left to pay business property taxes and fewer employed people at the end anyway.

Details on the China refusing our meat issue:

China rejects U.S. imports, citing sanitary code

China's food and drug safety record has come under scrutiny in recent months following the deaths of cats and dogs in the United States and Canada blamed on tainted Chinese pet food ingredients. Worries at home and around the world have heightened as a growing number of Chinese products are found tainted with dangerous levels of toxins and chemicals.

Beijing has taken significant steps in recent days to clean up its product safety record, including executing the former head of its drug regulation agency for taking bribes and banning the use of a chemical found in antifreeze in the production of toothpaste.

Officials also have vowed to better integrate its fractured regulatory system, which splits responsibility among at least six agencies. The blurred lines often enable the country's countless illegal operations to escape detection.

Related stories:
china steamed buns cardboard

Seattle Times,
12 Jul 2007,
Beijing steamed buns include cardboard

BEIJING - Chopped cardboard, softened with an industrial chemical and flavored with fatty pork and powdered seasoning, is a main ingredient in batches of steamed buns sold in one Beijing neighborhood, state television said.

The report, aired late Wednesday on China Central Television, highlights the country's problems with food safety despite government efforts to improve the situation.

Countless small, often illegally run operations exist across China and make money cutting corners by using inexpensive ingredients or unsavory substitutes. They are almost impossible to regulate.

But China wants the media to show restraint on exposing the problems:

13 Jul 2007,
China tells food companies to put safety first

China, reeling from a series of health scandals, on Friday told food and drug companies to put safety first and urged the media to paint a rosier picture as the government scrambled to quell public alarm.

Revelations of tainted Chinese goods have grabbed global attention after patients in Panama died from toxic ingredients in medicine and pets died in the United States from substandard feed, while tainted Chinese toothpaste was found in Central America and elsewhere.
This week, domestic media reported on bogus rabies vaccines and dumplings found to have been stuffed with cardboard scraps.
"We must adhere to positive propaganda in the main," watchdog deputy chief Zhang Jingli said, according to the administration Web site.

He urged greater promotion of the "successes" of the official crackdown on tainted goods to help "create an atmosphere of opinion to protect our country's fine international image".

Zhang also indicated the administration wanted more restraint from domestic media reports exposing bad foods and drugs.

### End of my article ###

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