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faked/poisonous foodstuff


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In the last 30 days, two cases of faked/poisonos foodstuff were made known in China.

The first case is the faked Baby Formula discovered in Anhui. Nationwide dozens of babies drank this faked Baby Formula (which powder is "God knows what it is") and develop malnourishment syptom and even brain damage.

The second case is a popular brand of vermicelli made in Shandong which was found to contain chemicals that can get you cancer.

In fact, food poisoning due to faked/poisonous foodstuffs has been rampant. Cases in recent years I can recall so far:

(1) The mooncake that is made by a famous Nanjing bakery was found to use ingredients from last year's residue;

(2) The eel that is raised in farm was found to be fed with crushed birth control pill;

(3) Pidan was found to be made by poisonous chemicals.

Actually in Chinatown here, the rumor (or truth) goes even faster. Months before all these cases are revealed in the press in China or HK, almost everybody here knew it beforehand.

Now many people (including me) dare not buy processed foodstuffs from China.

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OH I can add one more recent case - making soy sauce with hair (!!!)

SOoooo DISGUSTING. If these people could only invest their time and effort in something good ...

HK seems to be benefitting a lot from the fake baby formula case. Lots of mainland tourists who came here during the May First holidays bought milk powder here. And people see great opportunities in the China market by simply selling non-fake products.

So next time if you need to buy baby formula, go to a nearby Watson's. [Ad] :wink:

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When a person prepares food with the intention of selling it to a stranger for profit, there is no incentive for the preparer to keep the food pure. In fact, the opposite incentive exists, since the less effort the preparer spends in keeping the food pure, the more profit the preparer makes.

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Shocking; who would have ever thought that some people would be inspired to cut corners along the food chain in such a huge market for fake clothing, fake accessories, fake watches, fake antiques, fake cigarettes, fake CD's, fake DVD's, fake software, etc. etc. all encouraged by tourists, expats, shady foreign business buyers, and locals alike. Just shocking.

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Do I detect a hint of sarcasm chengdude? :wink:

If these are the dodgy producers that have been found out, imagine how many more are out there? You could be eating toe-nail chilli paste right now! :shock:

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There are ways to avoid buying these faked/poisonous foodstuffs.

Whenever that food item is exceptionally cheap from China, don't buy it.

The best example is the eel.

In the Japanese department stores here, the prepared unagi (eel) from China has been put on the shelf for two years. First a 10-oz package was sold for US$6.5 which was an exceptionally good deal two years ago as compared with the same product from Japan or Taiwan.

But now the same package has dropped to US$2.5

However, I saw much less customers buying it. Probably they don't want to indirectly eat the birth control pills that have fed the eels.

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  • 3 years later...

How come after this topic was mentioned here three years ago, only does the toxic food problem create such uproar overseas now?

And today the former Department Head of PRC's equivalence of FDA and USDA, Mr. Zheng, got death sentence for corruption charges on letting those illegal faked drug/food business flourish:


But if US don't complain (HK has been complaining for years and many people in Mainland have fallen victims for an even longer time), probably Mr. Zheng would still be receiving bribe everyday!

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But if US don't complain...

Fact is that China exports very little food to the west. One of the reasons is that it often fails safety standards. Another one is of course transport cost.

A while ago I spoke to a western food exporter in China. His market is basically Asia shops and Chinese restaurants in Europe. Many food items fail safety standards (mainly pesticides), different tastes play a role too. He told me the story of a juice producer in Hainan, their stuff is un-sellable, juice with sugar (mostly too much of it) does not sell in Europe.

And many China makers have no interest to adapt their products, the market for China food is just too small in the west.

If stuff gets rejected buyers prefer to keep a low profile since their reputation as a whole can get tarnished. They simply dump the stuff in the toxic waste bin.

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I think the problem is two-fold - lax regulations or monitoring/enforcement of such, and also that the general public here is not as aware of or educated about food safety issues. I've noticed that once news gets out about a food safety issue, people do react very strongly.

Remember what happened after those people got sick from eating snails in Beijing last year? Even though these people probably got sick from eating snails which weren't fully cooked, every restaurant I visited stopped serving snail dishes for quite a while afterwards because no one would order the stuff.


And a bit later, it was also "revealed" in the news that a harmful colouring agent was commonly being added to salted goose eggs to make the yolks take on an "appealing" reddish-orange colour. After the news broke, I noticed that all the salted goose eggs I had took on a more natural yellow-orange colour.

I have not been here long enough to tell if things are improving, but I truly hope they are as things can only get better when the cheats are revealed and are no longer able to continue with their practises.

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The reason that Mr. Zheng is sentenced to death is not due to corruption but globalization:

http://big5.chinabroadcast.cn/gate/big5/gb.cri.cn/9083/2007/06/01/[email protected]

When Beijing tries to assure foreign governments by promising that it will not execute those corrupt fleeing officials if foreign governments allow them to be extradited (who all embezzled tens or hundreds times more than Zheng did), why did it surprisingly convict Zheng to death?

Globalization. If the dog food and toothpaste were not exported but merely consumed within China, probably Zheng will not need to die.

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Zheng was sentenced to death because China's global image was at stake from Beijing's perspective.

Beijing officials wanted to reassure the world that this is not a nation of counterfeiters after the massive pet food recall in US.

A pet food consumer affected by the fraudulent activities could later view labels with the words "Made in China" with suspicion or disdain.

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  • 1 month later...

Beware of canned food.


China Finds Poor Quality in Its Stores


Published: July 5, 2007

SHANGHAI, July 4 — China said on Wednesday that nearly a fifth of the food and consumer products that it checked in a nationwide survey this year were found to be substandard or tainted, underscoring the risk faced by its own consumers even as the country’s exports come under greater scrutiny overseas.

The government said, for instance, that canned and preserved fruit and dried fish contained excessive bacteria; that 20 percent of the fruit and vegetable juice surveyed was deemed substandard, and that some children’s products were defective or laced with harmful chemicals.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said the survey, conducted in the first half of this year, showed quality and safety improvements compared with conditions in the period a year earlier. But the announcement also suggested that Chinese consumers are at serious risk of being harmed by purchasing tainted foods, substandard goods and suspect or defective equipment.

Regulators said, in effect, that goods sold in China were far more hazardous than the exports that were driving the country’s economic growth and now partly the subject of safety and quality debates.

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Note that both he and Zheng received the death penalty with a two-year reprieve, which in most cases means that they won't be executed and the sentences will be commuted to a lesser penalty in two years.

Most people convicted of economic crimes nowadays seems to be getting these commuted sentences instead of outright death penalty. There is a movement of sort in China to abolish the death penalty for economic crimes.


Mr. Cao, however, was given the death sentence with a two-year reprieve, a lighter penalty that may allow the 45- year-old to have his sentence commuted to life in prison.



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