tagged w/ melanine
CAPTION: Police bust an operation that "recycles" cooking oil collected from the sewer.
Okay, the Chinese are getting more and more out of control with their toxic food products. We all have heard about the melanine in infant formula which causes kidney stones in infants...it is getting systemically worse in China.
In a wedding party of 500 people, half were taken to the hospital after (what they think) was pork raised with excessive corticosteroids to increase the growth and growth rate.
The Chinese are making cooking oil out of oil discarded by restaurants into sewers, scooping it up from the sewer.
It goes on and on...
Worse, the whistleblowers in China are locked in prison or have to flee the country because of threats.
And, of course, our FDA isn't even testing targeted food items from Japana after Fukushima....they certainly aren't going to inconvenience the Chinese by inspectnig their products.
China wrestles with food safety problems
By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times
Sun Jun 26 2011 5:35 PM
Reporting from Beijing-- It was a wedding the guests would never forget. Everybody of consequence in the village had been invited to a banquet to celebrate the marriage of the son of one of the wealthiest families. Fifty tables groaned under a lavish spread of dumplings, steamed chickens, pork ribs, meatballs, stir fries, all of it exceptionally delicious, guests would later recall.
But about an hour into the meal, something seemed to be wrong. A pregnant woman collapsed. Old men clutched their chests. Children vomited.
Out of about 500 people at the April 23 banquet in Wufeng, 286 went to the hospital. Doctors at the No. 3 Xiangya Hospital in nearby Changsha, capital of Hunan province, blamed pork contaminated with clenbuterol, a steroid that makes pigs grow faster and leaner. Consumed by humans in excess quantity, it can cause heart palpitations, nausea, convulsions, dizziness and vomiting....
...It hasn't helped. If anything, China's food scandals are becoming increasingly frequent and bizarre.
In May, a Shanghai woman who had left uncooked pork on her kitchen table woke up in the middle of the night and noticed that the meat was emitting a blue light, like something out of a science fiction movie. Experts pointed to phosphorescent bacteria, blamed for another case of glow-in-the-dark pork last year.
Farmers in eastern Jiangsu province complained to state media last month that their watermelons had exploded "like landmines" after they mistakenly applied too much growth hormone in hopes of increasing their size.
Such incidents cut to the quick of the weaknesses in China's monolithic one-party system. Chinese authorities are painfully aware that people will lose confidence in a government that cannot give them assurances about what they eat. They are equally aware that tainted foods could cause what communist authorities fear most: social unrest.
"Food safety concerns the people's interests and livelihoods, social stability and the future of socialism with Chinese characteristics," is how the Supreme Court put it in its notice last month accompanying the announcement of the death penalty.
The government's efforts are looking frantic....
...It's doubtful, however, that anybody will heed the regulation — China is famous for promulgating laws that are never enforced. There is no equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: A myriad of different agencies reporting to various ministries, including the Agriculture Ministry and Health Ministry, tend to kick responsibility from one to another. Offenders are not usually prosecuted until something goes badly wrong, as in the baby formula case, in which two people were executed.
The incentive to cheat is greater than ever before, with inflation at its highest level in nearly three years. Food prices in May were up 11.7% from last year, and flooding this month is expected to push them even higher....
...To make some breeds of fish mature more quickly, aquatic farmers feed them ground-up birth-control pills, which cost virtually nothing because of China's strict limits on family size. In April, authorities in Hefei province busted businesses that were selling a glaze that makes pork look and smell like more expensive beef — bad news in a country with more than 20 million Muslims....
..."The profit margin is bigger than drug trafficking if you add the lean pork powder to the pig food," said Zhou Qing, an author and dissident, who has styled himself as China's equivalent of Upton Sinclair, whose 1906 novel, "The Jungle," exposed the horrors of the U.S. meatpacking industry.
In 2006, Zhou published a book about the Chinese food industry that would extinguish the heartiest appetite. He wrote about foods tainted with pesticides, industrial salts, bleaches, paints and, especially nauseating, imitation soy sauce made from clippings swept up from hairdressers' floors, sold for 5 cents per pound and sent to factories that extract from it an amino acid solution. Zhou wrote that fish farmers confessed to pouring so many antibiotics and hormones into their ponds that "they never eat the fish that they farm."
Although Zhou's book has been published in 10 countries — it sold 50,000 copies in Japan alone — it is not available in China. After failing to get the book in shops, receiving threats from police and getting beaten up by thugs, Zhou left China in 2008. He now lives in Germany.
"In China, the reflexive desire to cover up and hide has trumped transparency and the need to protect public health," said Phelim Kine, a researcher for Human Rights Watch.
The poor treatment of whistleblowers makes it nearly impossible for a consumer movement to take root. The Health Ministry went so far as to announce this month that it would set up a blacklist of journalists who were deemed to report irresponsibly on food safety issues.
Last year, He Dongping, a professor of food sciences at Wuhan Polytechnic University, in Hubei province, published results of an investigation into the recycling of discarded cooking oil, which was being scooped out of sewers outside restaurants, reprocessed and then sold at a fraction of the cost of fresh cooking oil. He found that one in 10 restaurants in his area bought the recycled oil, even though it was known to contain a carcinogenic fungus.
Afterward, the professor was reprimanded by the university and ordered not to speak again about cooking oil. Contacted this month, he hung up when told the caller was a foreign journalist.
Even victims are punished if they complain too loudly. Zhao Lianhai, an advertising executive who led a campaign for safer baby formula after his son developed kidney stones as a result of the melamine-tainted baby formula, was sentenced in November to 2 1/2 years in prison for "inciting social disorder."
As a result, people are often too frightened to speak up. More than a dozen who were contacted about their experience at the wedding in Wufeng begged not to have their full names used. They said their medical bills had been paid by the local government and the newlyweds' parents, who were connected to the local Communist Party branch. They said they never got answers about what had happened.
"We asked many times, but there were no answers. The doctors wouldn't say. So we stopped asking," said one woman, adding nervously before hanging up the phone, "Don't tell anyone I told you this."CAPTION: Police bust an operation that "recycles" cooking oil collected... more
Published: January 22, 2009
BEIJING — Chinese courts sentenced two men to death on Thursday for endangering public safety in a tainted-milk scandal that killed at least six children, according to state-run news media.
Three other defendants, including a top dairy company executive, were sentenced to life in prison. Another defendant received a suspended death sentence, and 15 others were given prison terms from 2 to 15 years.Published: January 22, 2009
BEIJING — Chinese courts sentenced two men to death... more
The animals, at at Hangzhou Zoo near Shanghai, developed kidney stones after being fed milk powder tainted with the industrial chemical melamine.
Chinese media report that the animals had been fed on milk powder made by Sanlu Group for more than a year.
Sanlu Group is at the heart of the milk crisis which has seen four Chinese babies die and another 53,000 fall ill.
Concerned keepers sent the animals for a check up after hearing about the milk contamination and have now stopped feeding with Sanlu milk.
The orang-utans and the lion are the only animals to have developed kidney stones and are being treated for the condition.
Officials at the Beijing Zoo and zoos in the other major cities of Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xian said they had no cases of animals sickened from milk powder, the Associated Press reported.
The animals, at at Hangzhou Zoo near Shanghai, developed kidney stones after being fed... more
picture: Flickr photo- Cherry ice-cream http://www.flickr.com/photos/elena777/124359368/
As a member of the Online Community Team, I spend more time than you can ever imagine on Current, reading through items, comments and going through topics. There’s always something new being added to the Politics topic or the Sex and Relationships, but there was one topic I came across that had few stories and was rarely added to—milk.
Milk. A fairly random and sparsely populated topic on Current, and for obvious reasons- it’s milk. Milk in itself is not that newsworthy and probably not something that many people search for on the site. That is, until recently. In the last two weeks with China’s scandal of melamine-tainted milk and infant formula as well as PETA asking Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream to use human milk instead of cow’s, milk has, surprisingly, become a highly discussed on Current.com, at least for the time being.
Of all the possible stories about milk, these were not what I would have imagined showing up on the Milk topic. Who would have thought PETA would ask any company to use human milk? And for that reason, this item has generated a lot of entertaining discussion, ranging from people’s disgust at the idea of using human milk, to arguments over whether human milk could even make ice cream.
Some of the best things about these unique and sometimes bizarre stories are the ones emerging as a result of these events. For example, a mother in Chegdu posted an ad to breastfeed another child as a result of the melamine-tainted formula. I could make some joke about milk money, but I’ll refrain. However, I’m going to go ahead and guess that posting an ad for breastfeeding just isn’t that common, so while melamine-tainted milk and infant formula is an awful thing, peoples’ reactions to it are very interesting.
In any case, I’ve enjoyed these unique additions to the Milk topic and the interesting discussions as a result. Check them out, add to the discussion if you’re so inclined, and if you come across a story that’s related to these milky events or is lactosely-inclined (yes, I made that word up), tag it!
picture: Flickr photo- Cherry ice-cream... more
In a rare move, the state-controlled media Thursday highlighted the fact that "foreign" milk products are safe for babies. While not counselling against buying "Made in China" products, the official China Daily ran a prominent story about parents searching out imported milk products to feed their babies.
In a rare move, the state-controlled media Thursday highlighted the fact that... more