Is Your Food Safe From Melamine?

Product Of China

Product Of China

Product Of China

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We have all seen the headlines….

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More than 12,000 Chinese children sick from milk

BEIJING (AP) — China’s Health Ministry says the number of children sickened by tainted milk products has doubled, with nearly 12,900 in hospital and 104 of them seriously ill.

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Chinese ordered cover-up of tainted milk scandal

Chinese authorities ordered a cover-up of a tainted milk scandal that has poisoned tens of thousands of babies because they feared social unrest if the news was made public, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

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China milk scare ‘under control’

The Chinese tainted milk scandal is now under control, according to China’s chief food inspection official.

Mr Xiang Yuzhang gave his reassurance on the sidelines of a food safety conference held here in Beijing.

He said that the Chinese government had taken a series of strong measures to get to the bottom of the matter and that there were now no more problems.

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But That’s Happening In China…My Food Is Safe.

Isn’t It?

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Of course your food is safe.

Your government is making sure that Chinese products tainted with melamine don’t wind up in your pantry.

Read it for yourself…

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Chinese imports banned amid tainted milk scandal

HONG KONG (AP) — At least 12 countries — from Indonesia to Colombia — have banned Chinese dairy products amid fears over a widening tainted milk scandal that has killed four Chinese babies and sickened thousands of others.

Worries that compromised ingredients may have contaminated other foods like yogurts, cookies and candies have led several more countries, from Canada to Australia, to step up testing of Chinese imports.

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FDA: Melamine found in baby formula made in China

The Food and Drug Administration is alerting Asian and ethnic markets across the USA that infant formula made in China may be contaminated.

The FDA is working with state health agencies across the country to make members of Chinese-American communities aware of the danger.

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Canada keeps eye on Chinese candies

Testing shows unacceptable melamine levels

Canadian food safety officials are closely watching Chinese candies sold in this country, after testing in Hong Kong revealed unacceptable levels of melamine.

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CFIA warns that Mr. Brown instant coffee could contain melamine

For the second time this week, China’s tainted milk scandal has reached Canadian supermarket shelves.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is warning that certain types of Mr. Brown 3-in-1 instant coffee are being recalled because they might contain melamine, a chemical often used in plastics.

The three coffee blends, sold in 450 gram packages containing 30 bags of 15 grams each, were sold in British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba. They have not been linked to any illnesses.

On Sunday, the CFIA issued a similar warning for Nissin Cha Cha Dessert, a product sold in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

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Whew…I can relax now.

The government is doing it’s job.

My tax dollars are hard at work keeping me safe from poisonous Chinese imports.

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Wait a second…what’s this?

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Long reach of China’s deadly food


As a baby, my daughter regularly drank Chinese infant-formula. So when I learned of the latest tainted food scare sweeping China, it hit home – even from a seemingly safe distance in Canada.

In fact, years after bringing our adopted daughter back to a more predictable life here, I still don’t feel safe.

Four babies are dead and 50,000 sickened across China so far. And millions of Chinese parents are terrified by the threat to their food supply.

You should be, too.

Like my daughter, who was fed local formula during her first months in an orphanage, we’re all at risk. Even if we don’t knowingly consume Chinese products, we’re all shackled to the global food chain.

It might be herbal compounds used in multivitamins; pig intestines used in blood-thinning drugs; or fruit concentrate blended in juice. Do you really know what you’re ingesting? Where it came from?

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Oh come on now, this guy is nuts…

Ooooooohhh, maybe it’s the Illuminati or the Masons behind all of this.

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Let’s see what the Washington Post has to say about this.

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Why You Might Want to Be a Little Worried About China’s Bad Milk

Should Americans be learning something from the Chinese tainted-milk scandal? Should we be worried? Concerned? A little queasy?

You might say, “Not a problem, it’s happening on the other side of the globe.” Of course the story so far — four dead infants, 60,000 sick, and the bureaucratic fallout just beginning — is pretty grim. Asia is worried: Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Bangladesh, Burundi and the Philippines are all either testing Chinese dairy products or pulling them from their stores. Kids have been stricken with kidney stones in Hong Kong.

But the FDA has said we don’t import China’s milk products. So don’t worry.

I disagree. If the scandal illustrates anything, it’s that China’s product safety system is woefully ill-equipped. And that’s pretty sobering news from a country which is the second biggest supplier of goods to the United States.

A big chunk of that is food. From 1996-2006, U.S. imports of Chinese food, agricultural, and seafood products increased 346 percent to 1.833 milion tons. China is the third leading supplier of food (after Mexico and Canada) to the U.S., and the second biggest supplier of fish. Drugs and vitamins, too.

That vitamin C you’re popping each morning? Chances are the ascorbic acid was Made in China. In the past several years, the number of FDA-registered drug manufacturers in China has nearly tripled. They went from 440 in 2004 to almost 1,300 in 2007.

Over the last years, the Chinese have had their share of foreign food and product scandals. Chinese-made pet food was laced (like milk) with melamine, killing scores of American dogs and cats. Then there was the lead paint on Chinese toys.

The Bush administration made the obligatory noise about cracking down on Chinese goods. But the reality was that, according to a series of agreements signed between the Bush administration and the Chinese government in Beijing in December of last year, no significant new American resources are going to be devoted to dealing with the problem.

The onus is on the Chinese to clean up their act.

WHAT?

The onus is on the Chinese!!!

You have got to be kidding.

The Chinese.

The ones that photoshopped the Olympics

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OK, lets see what is actually going on in China.

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Chinese food companies turn blind eye to safety: Critic

Zhou Qing makes a simple, but chilling, point: If baby milk powder in China isn’t safe to drink, then consumers should be very careful about everything they eat here.

The outspoken writer and editor who spent two years investigating China’s food industry said he thinks the recent scandal that has killed four infants and sickened 53,000 more is just the tip of the iceberg.

“I believe the whole (food safety) situation is worse than what we are now hearing about in the milk powder industry,” Zhou said in an interview from his home in Beijing. “Common sense says that products meant for infants are usually produced to a higher standard in every country around the world. Governments usually check them more.

“The infant industry is the last area any government wants to have a scandal in.”

His advice to the legions of frightened consumers now trying to figure out what is safe to eat in China is, “the simpler the better.”

Zhou turns the current wisdom of only trusting big grocery stores and expensive brand names on its ear and says shoppers are more likely to get safer food at small neighbourhood markets and vegetable stands.

“Just buy things near your house. Buy fresh things. Buy things from farmer,” he said. “The bigger the store is, the more chances it has to manipulate its customers.”

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Well, that doesn’t sound good.

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Here is another, award winning article from the same author, Zhou Qing

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China’s food fears (part one)

Perhaps the biggest difference between food in the West and in China is that Chinese people like to eat lots of little snacks whereas Westerners prefer one ‘main meal’. In the West, restaurants and fast food outlets produce standardised meals, where quantities are strictly regulated. But the Chinese have a long history of eating snacks. Traditionally an agricultural country, when farmers went out onto the fields, they would bring snacks with them to eat and to share with friends, or would swap them with farmers from neighbouring villages. The quality of the snack was important – it would indicate how skilful the wife was in the kitchen and help the family to maintain their ‘face’. So over the centuries the quality of these snacks became better and better, so that gradually, all over China, one could find snacks that were both delicious and safe.

I think that when people eat snacks, their trust in what they are eating and the need to ‘keep face’ is more important than the actual eating of the snack itself. But now these snacks that have such a long and glorious history strike terror in people’s hearts. Let’s just look at pickled vegetables. Although pickled vegetables were first made in Sichuan, there is hardly anyone in the whole country who hasn’t tasted this delicious snack. But now when you visit Sichuan, your friends will say to you: ‘Do you like pickled vegetables? There’s a factory in Chengdu that pickles the vegetables in DDVP.’ In the past everyone in Sichuan would have pickled vegetables with their meals, but now the managers of some pickled vegetable factories say that, ‘We don’t eat any of these pickles in Sichuan, we sell them to people from other provinces.’

After some secret interviews, I finally uncovered the truth about this business. The most important part of the pickling process is the soaking. I noticed that the salt used in the pickling was not only whiter than most salt, but the grains were finer. So I asked, ‘How come it’s so white?’ The manager said, ‘This salt is bought on the black market. It’s cheaper by 50 yuan a jin.’ Later in the yard outside, I saw printed on the bags of salt the terrifying words, ‘Industrial Salt’, and ‘Not for human consumption.’

The workers of this factory showed me in another yard neatly arranged piles of this industrial salt. I asked, ‘Have you always used this salt?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘Do the other factories use it?’ And the workers all nodded in reply. A few days later I returned to the factory, and noticed lots of little insects crawling around the vats of pickled vegetables, and I asked why there were so many insects. The manager said, ‘When we soak the vegetables there are always a lot of insects, but when we add the chemicals they all disappear.’ A little later, a worker started adding chemicals to the vats. I asked what the chemicals were and the worker replied that they were insect killers. He also said that to ensure that no insects got to them, the pickles would be sprayed with insecticide every two or three days until they left the factory. When I asked exactly what kind of insecticide it was, both the manager and the workers said that they didn’t know. Because there was no label on the bottle of the chemical they used, I took a small sample of the red liquid, put it in a sealed container and sent it off to be checked by the China Food Import Export Investigation Centre, and was told that this chemical was 99% strength DDVP . . .

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Here are some more examples of the high standards that the typical Chines food processor sets for himself:

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  • Sour Fish Soup found to be high in opiates.
  • Fried Dough Sticks high in aluminum
  • “Cold Skin” noodles containing urine, saliva and fecal matter
  • Salted Fish preserved in DDVP
  • And the list goes on and on and on

Here is Part 2 of the article. Read at your own peril.

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So What Am I Supposed To Do?

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Well, I was going to suggest that you only buy foods that do not originate in China.

Read your labels people.

But then I read this:

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‘Ontario’ produce from China

Sep 24, 2008 04:30 AM

Re:Long reach of China’s deadly food

Column, Sept. 23

Here in Holland Marsh, carrots and onions are the main vegetables grown. Our fields produce annually about 200 million pounds of each, enough to supply two bags to every person in Canada.

Last summer I was surprised to see many grocery stores in the GTA selling 10-pound bags of carrots for $2 that were packed in Holland Marsh and Bradford farmer/processor bags, complete with their local logo, address and marked “Product of Canada.”

I wondered how they could make a profit.

This summer I was informed by the manager of a Holland Marsh family farming/processing firm that last summer’s bounty, seemingly from Holland Marsh, was in fact from China.

Though Holland Marsh had an excellent growing year, they were not immune to predatory and aggressive market poaching by an American agricultural conglomerate. I was told this conglomerate imported millions of pounds of carrots from China and convinced local farmers to package them in their local bags.

The firm I spoke to complained to local MP Peter Van Loan and to the CFIA.

The only action that was taken was the watered-down “Product of Canada” laws not effective until this December.

Neither the government nor the CFIA stopped these shipments, which continued all summer long, financially hurting farmers who refused to be a part of this dishonourable reselling scheme.

What’s more, millions of pounds of these carrots were shipped across the border to New York as Canadian agricultural product. Not only were the Americans deceived, but our Stats Can agricultural import and export figures for last year are now wrong because of this apparently legal deceit.

This season, floods in China have stopped the large volume of vegetable imports from that country, so our local farmers are not being pressured to choose between their conscience and going bankrupt. But what about next season?

Laura Young, Holland Marsh, Ont

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WTF!!!

What is going on around here?

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So, Seriously…What Am I Supposed To Do?

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  • Buy Local

  • Buy Organic

  • Buy From A Co-Op

  • Pressure Your Government Representatives to Enact Some Laws With Teeth

  • Pressure Major Retailers (Wal-Mart) By Telling Them Of Your Decision To No Longer Buy Chinese Products

  • Keep Reading My Blog For More Info on Health & Fitness

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9 comments

  1. This excellent post certainly did not make me laugh.
    It made me sick.
    And what are we to do about it?
    I started down this journey myself, with a blog post about Chinese glycerin and diethylene glycol (anti freeze), but nowhere near as informative as yours.

    This is beyond scary. This is AWFUL.

  2. Hi M.F.R.

    Are you serious?

    By fix, do you mean cover up the problem so that the rest of the world doesn’t see what actually happens in China?

    You’re joking, right?

  3. Karen,

    What are we going to do about it?

    Good question.

    Do we care enough about what happens in China to even try to help the Chinese population?

    Sadly, probably not.

    Do we care enough to do something about it in our own country?

    Once again, for most of us, probably not.

    Processed foods contain various ingredients from all over the globe. From the farm to the various middlemen to the food manufacturer, no one is tracking the country of origin of each and every ingredient.

    Why would they?

    It costs money to do that and unless the gov’t tells forces them to do it, it is never going to happen.

    So, in my view, if you want to avoid Chinese food products, we either need to buy from sources we trust 100% or we embarass our governments into toughening up the country of origin food laws or stop buying food from companies that won’t voluntarily give us that info.

    Thus endeth my rant

    Karen, thanks for your comment and your concern

  4. Simple. Dont take any food items from China.

    If their own babies are fed melamine for profit, who are you and me???

  5. I guess Mr. Brown will be off my list for a little while. I wonder how much melamine I have ingested over the years from Chinese products.

    Sometimes I cannot help but wonder if we are part of the problem. Think about it. If companies like Walmart does not demand deep discounts, then the manufacturers would not demand such deep discounts, and the processing plant managers in China might not feel the need to cut corners.

  6. i like how yo use family guy and cartoon to relate to your blog post. wow i can’t believe that i never heard about this scandel and this was about 2 years ago. thank goodness the government banned food from china. was the poisoning serious?

  7. We have friends of Chinese ancestry who lived in the UK and Canada for several years. They’ve returned to China now. When we asked them about the food safety, they said they NEVER eat out – they only cook at home with what they can get from local farms. Its not guarantee of food purity, but its the best they can do.

    The Chinese food problems are bad for the world population, and ever worse on the Chinese nationals who don’t have an option!

    Its too bad really. I LOVE Chinese food and have many friends of Chinese ancestry, yet I am boycotting products made in China – sometimes paying more than 2x to get the same product made locally or imported from South America, eastern Europe, or the US.

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