Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A return to the China problem!

More on China
Added July 3, 2007
An addition to "Vitamins and China" below.

Since this all started we are learning more and more about China. Let me start by telling you the last time we were there we could not drink any water other than the special water prepared by the hotel or beer. With that in mind let me continue on the new revelations.

Today's press says that seafood from China raises alarms. The FDA is restricting the sale of certain seafood products because the regulators are finding carcinogens and excessive antibiotics. Many of the seafood products are raised in the Pearl River Delta which is well know for the dumping of industrial chemicals, farm runoffs and I believe human and animal waste. The reason for the excess antibiotics is they have to keep the fish alive.

One company, Xulong, is the worlds largest processor of eel and claims to be the cleanest food processor in China yet on occasions they cannot pass muster with our regulators. If they can't understand what is required than not many others would be able to. China is the leading producer of seafoods, garlic and apple juice concentrates imported to the US who imports 80% of our seafoods. China is gaining market share of processed vegetables and frozen foods.

Last week the FDA banned some of China's biggest imports including shrimp, catfish, eel and a type of Carp.

They are presently third behind Canada and Mexico in food imports to the US. As this increases out regulars are not staffed to properly inspect that much food coming from China.

In a sense this reminds me of the early 1900s where we had no regulation on foods and they were coming to us in any form and with any dirt they picked up along the way. The big difference is the dirt that is picked up today from China comes along with industrial chemicals, human waste, farm runoffs, and the never ending air pollution (sometimes you can't see the ground from a tall hotel the pollution is so bad. By the way much of the pollution from China ends up along our West coast and we have no control over reducing that pollution. The same pollution may be effecting our own California grown food products over time.

We buy far more things from China than China buys from us. They are loudly protesting the problems their products are causing in this country and the little we do in restricting their imports. Food exporting is a very large business in China and if the word gets out and we stop buying - they have a real problem.

To me the present scare is far worse than the "Mad Cow Disease" scare of some years ago.