September 01, 2005

You are on the invidual archive page of Russian Roulette Has Better Odds. Click Simon World weblog for the main page.
Russian Roulette Has Better Odds

More on the food scandals gripping China - news just in that the majority of food production, handled by mom-and-pop producers, do not meet even rudimentary safety standards. An article on Asia News Network carries the story on why you can't trust anything you eat in the country:

Indeed, a study last year on China's food safety strategy, led by the State Council's Development Research Centre revealed a number of problems contributing to food-safety breaches. They include excessive and improper use of pesticides, the existence of many unqualified small-scale food companies and inadequate food-safety technology.

But the overriding reason food contamination occurs so often, food safety experts here and abroad say, is that the regulatory system cannot keep up with the fast growing food industry.

The article goes on to describe the conditions under which food is being made:
In 2003, the output value of China's food industry reached 1.29 trillion yuan (US$161.62 billion), nearly 20 per cent up on 2002. In the first six months of last year, the industry achieved an output value of nearly 710 billion yuan ($421.95 billion), a 20 per cent increase over the same period in 2003.

But reports in the local press say more than 70 per cent of China's 106,000 registered food makers are family-run outfits of fewer than 10 people. And at least 60 per cent of these cannot meet basic sanitary standards.

Professor Luo Yunbo, dean of China Agricultural University's college of food science and nutritional engineering said: "China does not lack regulations, but there's a lack of unified supervision and control."

And eating food produced by big Western brand names might not be much of a solution:
In the first half of the year, several food scandals involving big names such as KFC and Nestle, hogged headlines and shook consumer confidence.

Some KFC products were reported to be tainted with Sudan-I, a cancer-causing dye, and some of Nestle's infant milk powder formulas were found to contain iodine levels higher than the national standard.

Both companies took the products off the shelves, apologised to consumers and conducted investigations to root out the source of the contamination.

I'm normally the 'goes-tropo' guy, the one that will eat or try almost anything, keeping an open mind. But I really will have to boycott Chinese agricultural products until their standards improve. Or is [warning: dubious conspiracy theory ahead] this an evil plan so that China simply won't have to worry about an aging population in 30 years' time?

posted by HK Dave on 09.01.05 at 02:33 PM in the


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Send a manual trackback ping to this post.

Chiner food standards
Excerpt: Great post as Simon World about food standards in Chiner.Indeed, a study last year on Chiner's food safety strategy, led by the State Council's Development Research Centre revealed a number of problems contributing to food-safety breaches. They include...
Weblog: GZ Expat, Part II
Tracked: September 1, 2005 09:17 PM

thursday links
Excerpt: Shanghai is a great place to shop! If you buy your DVD player at Shanghai Carrefour - even a cheap one - you may get a free, on our usual weekly/fortnightly/we have no food trip to the Wuning Lu
Weblog: asiapundit
Tracked: September 2, 2005 01:58 AM


You got is so good living the good life in Hong Kong. Try playing roulette every day living in Guangzhou. Never know what you will get from one day to the next.

Thank god I have a good tai-tai that has found all the import beef and fish places in town that she can crawl around in their freezers for the latest in meat, cheese and fish.

We still go with the local vegetables...but wash the hell out of everything when we do buy them. Tai-tai is so anal about this...she even washes and sterilizes the eggs in the shell!!

There are some things you give up when you decide to live here...sunny side up eggs...and crispy salads.

Only wish my company could see these problems as well...while the continue to cut benefits.

posted by: GZ Expat on 09.01.05 at 09:10 PM [permalink]

Wow, I really don't envy you! I am all for cities with interesting histories, and I generally love travelling around China. But Guangzhou for me is a huge turn-off. IMHO it's one of the ugliest cities in the world. I've been several times, and the only two areas that I remotely enjoyed are the art museum and Shamian Island. Generally, I thought the food was among the most mediocre in China, the streets were filthy, and generally totally unpleasant and lacking in redeeming features.

I think your sterilizing your vegetables are a good idea. It's such a shame such an historic city has gone to hell in a handbasket.

posted by: HK Dave on 09.02.05 at 02:17 PM [permalink]

Post a Comment:


Email Address:



Remember your info?