The lack of effective food safety laws in China has created a monster of terrible proportions.It is one thing to replicate designer merchandise and rip off manufacturers, and quite another to dare to imitate Mother Nature and mess with the nutritious ingredients that comprise the staples of human diets.
Perpetrators remove the nut’s true meat, replacing it with a lump of concrete and gluing the shell shut. To further foster the “nut illusion,” much care is taken to wrap each cement lump in paper so as not to arouse suspicion.
Honey laundering concerns the creation of a counterfeit honey product that is falsely labeled and shipped through India, then on to the United States.
It is the result of blending sugar water, malt sweeteners, corn or rice syrup, jaggery (a type of unrefined sugar), barley malt sweetener or other additives with a bit of actual honey.
Making expensive beef out of cheaper chicken or pork and charging the highest price possible is its own form of despicable alchemy.
Unfortunately, it is fairly easy to do. It takes about 90 minutes to create by marinating a blend of high-grade beef extract and a glazing agent.
“Meat-masking additives” are dangerous. Continued use can cause slow poisoning of human organs, leading to deformities and possibly even some forms of cancer.
It would seem that there should be a special penalty for daring to imitate the mainstay of the Chinese culinary experience. Authorities in Singapore have stated that some companies are making imitation rice from plastic industrial resin and potatoes (both sweet and regular).
This fake product looks real in its raw state, but once it’s cooked it becomes hard and chewy. “Eating three bowls of this fake rice would be like eating one plastic bag,” stated one official from the Chinese Restaurant Association.
According to the Korean-language “Weekly Hong Kong” (which many Vietnam websites are referencing as well), Singapore media claim that fake rice is being distributed in the Chinese town of Taiyuan, in Shaanxi province. This “rice” is a mix of potatoes, sweet potatoes, and plastic. It is formed by mixing the potatoes and sweet potatoes into the shape of rice grains, then adding industrial synthetic resins. Since the rice does not behave like normal rice, it stays hard even after it has been cooked. Such synthetic resins can also be very harmful if consumed.
A Chinese Restaurant Association official said that eating three bowls of this fake rice would be like eating one plastic bag. Due to the seriousness of the matter, he added that there would be an investigation of factories alleged to be producing the rice. Meanwhile, the low cost of the fake rice is allowing wholesalers to make large profits.
Man-made eggs are composed of chemicals, alginic acid, potassium, calcium chloride, gelatin, paraffin, artificial coloring and water, and are sold as if they were the real thing.
They are boiled in the urine of young boys and the eggshells are made from chalk.
Adding insult to injury, instructions for making these bogus eggs can be found on a variety of websites.
It is said that the imitations do resemble eggs, but not after cooking, at which point the yolks have been known to bounce.
Eating these disgusting imitations on a continued basis can lead to memory loss and dementia.
What’s next? Fake chickens?
Repackaging stale buns would appear to be a new low in China’s food packaging standards.
Some grocery stores have been accused of sending buns that have expired back to their makers, the Shanghai Shenglu Food Company, where they are thrown into a vat with water, flour, an illegal yellow food coloring and artificial sweeteners. The buns are then repackaged and resold as new, fresh buns.
Some action has been taken against the company’s director, perhaps because the scandal was just too public and shameful for the government to bear.
The director lost his production license and the government has since removed 32,000 buns from store shelves.
China’s food safety policy is for the most part non-existent and in dire need of reform. Regulations are difficult to enforce due to the vast size of the country. In 2009, the government did recognize food safety issues as a national problem, which is always the first step to any recovery process.
The violations, however, are blatant, and they continue unabated.
China continues to struggle with food safety scandals. Huaying Agricultural, a prominent Chinese poultry company doing business as the “World’s Duck King”, terminated four employees suspected of selling diseased ducks. Media reports indicate consumers were supplied with ducks that died from a disease instead of being supplied with healthy ducks that were slaughtered. According to Agence France-Presse, employees of Huaying, based in the central province of Henan, sold the ducks to businessman Cui Jinping who processed them on the “black market” for resale as meat.
>>>>>>Tainted Pork with Clenbuterol and Ractopamine
According to a report back in 2011 in China’s state news agency, Xinhua, three senior officials in central China have been suspended, and 22 have been arrested in the Henan province on charges of adding the drugs clenbuterol and ractopamine to pig feed to produce leaner meat. Some of those arrested were pig farmers in Henan province, China’s main pig producing area. Arrests were also made at a slaughterhouse in Nanjing city, where the tainted meat was being butchered. China’s top meat processor, Henan Shuanghui Investment & Development Company, was singled out as one of the chief companies suspected of selling the contaminated pork.
Clenbuterol is a bronchodilator prescribed for human use outside of the U.S. It is popular with bodybuilders and athletes for its ability to increase lean muscle mass and reduce body fat. Clenbuterol can have significant adverse cardiovascular and neurological effects. Ractopamine is also used as a feed additive to promote lean meat in pigs. In the US, ractopamine is the active ingredient found in the feed additive Paylean, produced by Elanco Animal Health, previously owned by Eli Lilly. Paylean was approved by the FDA in 1999, and has also been approved in more than 20 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and Thailand. Most pork products sold in the US contains Paylean. Paylean is banned in China and Malaysia, however, as well as the European Union, and 150 other countries.
>>>>>>U.S. Imports Fish From China Raised on Human & Animal Waste
In a shocking development reported in Vancouver Sun in 2011, Michael Doyle, a microbiologist with the University of Georgia, made a stunning disclosure in a keynote address at the general meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) in New Orleans.
Doyle said food producers in China regularly use untreated human and animal waste for feeding farmed fish meant for eating and for fertilizing land to grow produce. “[Feces] is the primary nutrient for growing the tilapia [in China],” he said.
Doyle said companies importing food from overseas, and those with production operations there, should be held responsible for the quality of food making it to western markets.
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>>>>Pesticide-drenched ‘yard-long’ beans
More than 3.5 tons of “yard-long” green beans contaminated with banned pesticide isocarbophos, were destroyed after being discovered on sale in the central city of Wuhan in March 2010. The beans had come from the southern city of Sanya, and allegations of another attempted cover-up followed after the Sanya agricultural law enforcement bureau said it was “inconsiderate” of Wuhan authorities to publicise the case.
In February 2011 reports emerged of another milk contamination scandal, this time using leather-hydrolyzed protein which, like melamine, appears to boost the protein-content of milk, thereby enhancing its value. The problem had been detected as early as March 2009 reported the official China Daily newspaper reported Friday. China announced this month it was closing almost half of its dairies in a bid to clean up the industry.
After reports that much of China’s rice crop was contaminated with heavy metals, health authorities in Shenzhen, southern China tested 696 samples of food made with flour, including dumplings and steamed buns. Nearly one third (28pc) were found to have levels of aluminium above national standards, the Shenzhen Standard reported. The contamination was blamed on excessive use of baking powder containing the metal.
Reports and photographs surfaced last month showing pork that glowed an eerie, iridescent blue when the kitchen lights were turned off. Online users dubbed it “Avatar” meat and remained sceptical despite reassurances from the Shanghai Health Supervision Department which said the pork that has been contaminated by a phosphorescent bacteria and was still safe eat if well-cooked.
‘>>>>Lean meat powder’ pork
China has fought a long-running battle with the use of the steroid clenbuterol in pork production. Known as ‘lean meat powder’, it can cause dizziness, heart palpitations, diarrhoea and profuse sweating. The most recent case occurred last March in a stock market-listed pork producer, but China has acknowledged 18 outbreaks of food-related clenbuterol poisoning between 1998 and 2007, according to a report on the Shanghai Food Safety website.
>>>>Toxic take-away boxes
In April 2010 more than 7m toxic disposable food containers were seized in eastern province of Jiangxi. Although banned in 1999, the foam-boxes are still in widespread use in China, releasing toxic elements when warmed by food. The chemicals have the potential to damage livers, kidneys and reproductive organs.
An undercover investigation by a professor from Wuhan Polytechnic University in March 2010 estimated that one in 10 of all meals in China were cooked using recycled oil, often scavenged from the drains beneath restaurants. The State Food and Drug Administration issued a nationwide emergency ordering an investigation into the scandal of the so-called ‘sewer’ oil, which further dented public confidence in the food industry.
Research published in February claimed that up to 10 per cent of rice sold in China was contaminated with heavy metals, including cadmium. Data collected by Nanjing Agricultural University found that the problem was most acute in Southern provinces, where in some areas 60 per cent of samples were contaminated, some with up to five times the legal limit.
>>>>Melamine Milk scandal
In 2008 six babes were killed and 300,000 were left sickened after consuming infant formula contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine. The scandal, which was hushed up for several months to avoid embarrassment during the Olympic Games, caused outrage in China and smashed public confidence in the government and its ability to regulate the food industry.
Police in the northeastern city of Shenyang seized 40 tons of beans-prouts in April 2011. The tainted vegetables had been treated with sodium nitrite and urea, as well as antibiotics and a plant hormone called 6-benzyladenine. The chemicals were used to make them grow faster and look ‘shinier’ in the market stalls. 12 people were arrested.