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China -- Bringing Illness To U.S. Tables!

Von: bigTITS (clitteigh@yahoo.com) [Profil]
Datum: 25.04.2007 15:59
Message-ID: <1177509553.364753.107920@s33g2000prh.googlegroups.com>
Newsgroup: alt.petssci.med us.military alt.crime alt.politics.democrats.d
IMAGINE a country where hundreds of millions of small-time "farmers"
lacking running water and modern plumbing, earning less than $200 a
year, and wearing trousers made with a slit up the rear crotch to
permit them to crap where they tend their crops.  Crops, food that
ultimately ends up on your table.

That's CHINA, where today much of the rice, wheat, and other grain
products that you consume are grown.  The same "farms," the same
farmers, the same crops loaded with the same pesticides and dangerous
chemicals of unknown origin that have killed untold numbers of PETS in
the U.S.

Now, imagine these food products causing the deaths of unsuspecting
American CITIZENS, largely because the Bush administration lacks the
nerve to compel China to improve oversight of its agricultural
programs.

This is the same crooked and criminal administration that fears
questioning China's persistent stealing of U.S. intellectual property,
and stealing our technological secrets, all while maintaining against
the U.S. its greatest trade IMBALANCE!

Unchallenged!

A number of countries have barred whole groups of Chinese food from
their shores.  Why are the Bushies afraid of standing up to China --
which in 20 years will be America's implacable ENEMY!

Well, you'd better hire a food taster.  Because the same lawless
country -- CHINA -- that blithely ships poisonous lead-laced toys to
American children, is not going to stop shipping dangerous food to
your stores!  Because the Bushies are afraid of China.

But not Iraq.

Good luck.  And safe, happy eating, America!

-----------------

"China Food Fears Go From Pets To People"

By Ariana Eunjung Cha
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, April 25, 2007; A01

SHANGHAI -- Something was wrong with the babies. The villagers noticed
their heads were growing abnormally large while the rest of their
bodies were skin and bones. By the time Chinese authorities discovered
the culprit -- severe malnutrition from fake milk powder -- 13 had
died.

The scandal, which unfolded three years ago after hundreds of babies
fell ill in an eastern Chinese province, became the defining symbol of
a broad problem in China's economy. Quality control and product-safety
regulation are so poor in this country that people cannot trust the
goods on store shelves.

Until now, the problem has not received much attention outside of
China. In recent weeks, however, consumers everywhere have been
learning about China's safety crisis. Tainted ingredients that
originated here made their way into pet food that has sickened and
killed animals around the world.

Chinese authorities acknowledge the safety problem and have promised
repeatedly to fix it, but the disasters keep coming. Tang Yanli, 45,
grand-aunt of a baby who became sick because of the fake milk but
eventually recovered, said that even though she now pays more to buy
national brands, she remains suspicious.

"I don't trust the food I eat," she said. "I don't know which products
are good, which are bad."
With China playing an ever-larger role in supplying food, medicine and
animal feed to other countries, recognition of the hazards has not
kept up.

By value, China is the world's No. 1 exporter of fruits and
vegetables, and a major exporter of other food and food products,
which vary widely, from apple juice to sausage casings and garlic.
China's agricultural exports to the United States surged to $2.26
billion last year, according to U.S. figures -- more than 20 times the
$133 million of 1980.

China has been especially poor at meeting international standards. The
United States subjects only a small fraction of its food imports to
close inspection, but each month rejects about 200 shipments from
China, mostly because of concerns about pesticides and antibiotics and
about misleading labeling. In February, border inspectors for the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration blocked peas tainted by pesticides, dried
white plums containing banned additives, pepper contaminated with
salmonella and frozen crawfish that were filthy.

Since 2000, some countries have temporarily banned whole categories of
Chinese imports. The European Union stopped shipments of shrimp
because of banned antibiotics. Japan blocked tea and spinach, citing
excessive antibiotic residue. And South Korea banned fermented cabbage
after finding parasites in some shipments.

As globalization of the food supply progresses, "the food gets more
anonymous and gradually you get into a situation where you don't know
where exactly it came from and you get more vulnerable to poor
quality," said Michiel Keyzer, director of the Centre for World Food
Studies at Vrije University in Amsterdam, who researches China's
exports to the European Union.

Chinese authorities, while conceding the country has many safety
problems, have claimed other countries' assessments of products are
sometimes "not accurate" and have implied the bans may be politically
motivated, aimed at protecting domestic companies that compete with
Chinese businesses.

China's State Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Health and
Ministry of Agriculture, which along with other government agencies
share responsibility for monitoring food and drug safety, this week
declined to answer written questions faxed to them.

In the United States, more than 100 brands of pet food have been
recalled since March 16 because of a spike in animal deaths, generally
from kidney failure. The recall, one of the largest ever, included
mass-market brands sold in stores such as Safeway and Wal-Mart, as
well as pricey brands sold by veterinarians and specialty retailers.

Why the food is killing pets remains a focus of investigation, but the
FDA and a manufacturer in South Africa have found that several bulk
ingredients shipped from China, including wheat gluten and rice-
protein concentrate, were contaminated with an industrial chemical
called melamine.

Last week, concern about animal safety transformed into a concern
about risk to people. California state officials said melamine had
been found in livestock feed at a hog and could pose a "minimal"
health risk to people who ate pork from there. Wheat gluten is also
commonly used in breads, cereals and other foods for human
consumption, but contamination has not been found in such U.S.
products.

The investigations are unearthing details of the food chain that were
previously a mystery to most Americans, including the international
dealings that determine how ingredients make their way into the food
supply. U.S. companies are under relentless pressure to cut costs, in
part from consumers who demand low prices, and obtaining cheap
ingredients from China has become an important strategy for many of
them.

In China, meanwhile, the government has found that companies have cut
corners in virtually every aspect of food production and packaging,
including improper use of fertilizer, unsanitary packing and poor
refrigeration of dairy products.

William O'Brien, president of Hami Food of Beijing, which transports
food for the McDonald's restaurant chain and other multinational
companies in China, said in some of his competitors' operations,
"chilled and frozen products very often come in taxi cabs or in vans
-- not under properly controlled conditions. That is something that
people should worry about."

Not surprisingly, food-related poisonings are a common occurrence.

Last year, farmers raising duck eggs were found to have used a red dye
so the yolks would look reddish instead of yellow, fetching a higher
price. The dye turned out to be a cancer-causing substance not
approved for human consumption. In Shanghai, 300 people were poisoned
by a chemical additive in pork.

The Chinese government has undertaken a major overhaul of its
monitoring system by dispatching state inspectors to every province,
launching spot inspections at supermarkets, and firing a number of
corrupt officials.

"After these incidents, Chinese consumers began to ask, 'What can we
eat?' They no longer had any confidence in the safety of their food,"
said Hu Dinghuan, a food-safety expert at the Chinese Academy of
Agricultural Sciences, a think tank linked to the Chinese government.

Henk Bekedam, the World Health Organization representative in China,
said the situation is complicated by poor coordination among 17
government agencies involved in food safety.
In the United States and Europe, food is identified by lot numbers
that can often help authorities pinpoint problems. And increasingly,
food producers in developed countries are under pressure to keep
records that allow the tracing of problem ingredients to individual
farms.

China has a long way to go to achieve this type of modern system, said
Hu, a researcher at the Institute of Agricultural Economics and
Development who is working on a national pilot program to encourage
farmers to keep better records.

China has more than 200 million farmers working one- to two-acre
plots. Many of them earn a meager living, sometimes less than $200 a
year. Studies have found they often have little understanding of
correct chemical or antibiotic use.

The marketing of food and food-related goods in China is also
dominated by small-time traders. Small farmers typically take their
food to wholesale markets, get cash for their wares but do not
exchange documentation with buyers.

Their products are mixed with those of other small farmers, making the
source untraceable. "The person who is ultimately buying knows nothing
about where it originated," Hami Food's O'Brien said.

In response to the pet deaths in the United States, China is carrying
out a nationwide inspection of wheat gluten, but its government has
refuted allegations that Chinese companies are responsible for the
deaths.

Wheat gluten has industrial uses and China has suggested the shipments
that made their way into pet food might never have been intended for
that purpose. China's General Administration of Quality Supervision,
Inspection and Quarantine said China has never sent wheat gluten
abroad
for use as a pet-food ingredient. That has raised the question of
whether companies that bought the gluten are guilty of misusing it.

On the quarantine authorities' Web site on April 13, an unnamed
official said: "If a company used industrial wheat protein as a pet
food ingredient and this led to the death of pets, that company should
accept the corresponding responsibility."

Investigators from the United States and China are still trying to
determine how the contaminated wheat gluten got into pet food.

The FDA said it had traced the ingredient to Xuzhou Anying Biologic
Technology Development, near Shanghai. The company has said, however,
that it is a middleman and got the wheat gluten from another source.

Reached by phone this week, Xuzhou's general manager, Mao Lijun,
declined to comment further about the pet food probe, but said the
company "is cooperating with the government investigation.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/24/AR2007042402539_pf.html


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