Pacific Spirit Marine Institute
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
China has one million food-processing plants give or take a few thousand; whose counting anyway?
Apparently China is counting. The ‘State Administration for Industry and Commerce’, a Chinese regulatory agency said 152,000, yes that’s one hundred fifty-two thousand, food plants and retailers were shut down last year due to unsanitary and substandard food being sold.
Now 180 more factories have been closed. They haven’t been closed due to employees failing to wash up after lavatory visits, they haven’t been closed because hairs were falling out of the nets into the potato salad. No, nothing that benign; Nothing that innocent.
These factories were purposfully, with forethought, contaminating their foods and products. Toss in some malice sprinkled with forethought and we, in the west, call that a felony. Using things like formaldehyde to heft up a product, keep it from spoiling, or any other reason seems far from a malice free act. Even an illiterate should be able to reason things like anti-freeze, formaldehyde are poisons. Most people never want to come in contact with formaldehyde until they’re dead and many don’t want to even then.
Sadly formaldehyde and anti-freeze are on the short list of poisons being pumped into a long list of Chinese products. Paraffin and industiral oil perhaps? How about mixing in a little ‘already used’ food. I’m unable to determine in which food group ‘recycled food, expired, or already used’ may fall.
So, 23,000 contaminated food products were seized by Chinese inpsectors and they aren’t finished yet. And, less than 1 percent of regulated imports from China were even inspected by the US FDA.
So what is our tally now? 152,180 Chinese factories closed since December. China says, most of these factories were small, having fewer than 10 employees, and they were ‘unlicensed’. If China is trying the quell the trepidation with which the west is eye-balling their products, calling a business with fewer than 10 employess a factory isn’t a step in the right direction. Around here that’s a ‘mom and pop’ business. That’s Mom, Pop their three kids and their spouses. Oh, and one cousin. See how that makes 9 employees? That’s fewer than 10 employees which in China constitutes a ‘factory’.
But, now comes the fun part of this equation; these small ‘factories’ make up 75% of China’s one million food-processing plants. Excuse me? Now here’s the real question. At some point did China lay down the figure of 1 million food-processing plants in order to impress the west or maybe intimidate? Were I wanting to become a player on the ‘world market’ it could be advantageous to inflate my presense, like a puffer fish, in order to appear a little larger to preditors. On the other hand, when the products I’m exporting start turning up with poison in them, it would behoove me to say that a group of tiny, unregulated, unlicensed ‘vendors’ is what ‘did-me-in’. Understandably and entirely not my fault.
China wanted to look like a formidable player on the world market. It looks as though the way to do that was for the government to spread it’s arms open wide and sweep in every available resourse, including the ‘mom and pop’ operations.
Maybe the ’sleeping giant’ really has been asleep. Maybe the giant part is the consumer. Maybe we underestimated China’s consumer goods manufacturing prowess. Maybe we saw millions of tanks, and hundreds of millions of woven Chinese Finger Traps and mistook that for commercial expertise.
If Friday’s news about factory closures’ was meant to quell the rising fears concerning Chinese Imports…it didn’t work on me.
Labels: China, Chinese, Poison, Tainted, exports, imports
© 2009, Pacific Spirit Marine Institute.
More Tainted Chinese Products,with Fewer ‘Factories’ Operating
Friday, June 29, 2007
China, China, China. What will we do with Chinese imports?
After thousands of pets in North America became ill or died, from the use of tainted Chinese wheat gluten why would China not be more careful about the quality of their exports?
One could get the idea the China may not care how many people become sick or die from poisons contained in their products. Can this actually be the case? Why then are they sending Scallops and Sardines coated with putrefying bacteria to America?
Why are they shipping toxic cosmetics, tainted dietary supplements or dried apples preserved with cancer-causing chemicals to the rest of the world?
I get the message the Chinese are sending.
US inspection records show that China has been flooding the US with foods unfit for human consumption for years. The crime is that these products where simply sent back to China where they were, shipped right back to the US once, twice or three more times in an attempt to send the same poisoned products to American consumers.
Have we become so dependent upon cheap Chinese goods that we cannot live without them? It looks to me like many of us will stop living if we keep using them.
Canada exports $10 billion in FDA-regulated food and agricultural products to the US each year, of which, 56 shipments were rejected. By comparison 298 shipments from China’s $2 billion imports were rejected. Horror of horrors, only less than 1 percent of regulated imports from China were even inspected by the FDA.
In the past year the USDA has seized hundreds of thousands of pounds of Chinese meat being smuggled into the US. No meat from China is approved for import into the US. Apparently ‘dried lily flowers and prune slices’ are allowed, because that is what Chinese exporters have labeled their pirate shipments of meat.
China is aiming for certification so that they can legally ship poultry into the US. I don’t want a Chinese chicken legal, or otherwise, on the entire continent. I will never believe what they send will be safe. I think the US can grow more than enough chicken to meet American demand.
I think we have enough problems here already without importing new ones.
There is a story about a scorpion walking along the bank of a river, wondering how he would get to the other side. He saw a fox preparing to swim cross the river and he asked the fox to give him a ride.
The fox said, “no, if I do that you will sting me and I will drown.”
But, the scorpion sold the fox on the idea by saying, “If I did that we would both drown.”
That logic made sense to the fox and he agreed. Half way across the river, the scorpion stung the fox. As the fox began to die he asked the scorpion, “Why did you do that? Now you’ll die too.”
“I can’t help it,” said the scorpion. “It’s my nature.”
What is the ‘nature’ of the relationship China wishes to have with the US? I won’t apologize for asking.
More on this subject Monday.
Labels: Canada, China, Chinese, FDA, Poison, antibotics, catfish, exports, imports
© 2009, Pacific Spirit Marine Institute.
Catch of the Day: Scallops, Sardines, Scorpions and Fox