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Tainted food from China making it into US

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WASHINGTON - Dried apples preserved with a cancer-causing chemical. Frozen catfish laden with banned antibiotics. Scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria. Mushrooms laced with illegal pesticides.

These were among the 107 food imports from China the Food and Drug Administration detained at U.S. ports just last month, agency documents reveal, along with more than 1,000 shipments of tainted Chinese dietary supplements, toxic Chinese cosmetics and counterfeit Chinese medicines.

For years, U.S. inspection records show, China has flooded the United States with foods unfit for human consumption. And for years, FDA inspectors have simply returned to Chinese importers the small portion of those products they caught - many of which turned up at U.S. borders again, making a second or third attempt at entry.

Now the confluence of two events - the highly publicized contamination of U.S. chicken, pork and fish with tainted Chinese pet food ingredients and this week's resumption of high-level economic and trade talks with China - has activists and members of Congress demanding the United States tell China it is fed up.

Dead pets and melamine-tainted food notwithstanding, change will prove difficult, policy experts say, in large part because U.S. companies have become so dependent on the Chinese economy that tighter rules on imports stand to harm the U.S. economy, too.

"So many U.S. companies are directly or indirectly involved in China now, the commercial interest of the United States these days has become to allow imports to come in as quickly and smoothly as possible," said Robert B. Cassidy, a former assistant U.S. trade representative for China and now director of international trade and services for Kelley Drye Collier Shannon, a Washington law firm.

Smuggled meat

Deception by Chinese exporters is not limited to plant products. Some of their most egregiously unfit exports are smuggled in.

Under Agriculture Department rules, countries cannot export meat and poultry products to the United States unless the USDA certifies that the slaughterhouses and processing plants have food-safety systems equivalent to those here. Much to its frustration, China is not certified to sell any meat to the United States because it has not met that requirement.

But that has not stopped Chinese meat exporters. In the past year, USDA teams have seized hundreds of thousands of pounds of prohibited poultry products from China and other Asian countries, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced in March. Some were shipped in crates labeled "dried lily flower," "prune slices" and "vegetables," according to news reports. It is unclear how much of the illegal meat slipped in undetected.

Despite those violations, the Chinese government is on track to get permission to legally export its chickens to the United States - a prospect that has raised concern not only because of fears of bacteria such as salmonella but also because Chinese chickens, if not properly processed, could be a source of avian flu, which public-health authorities fear may be poised to trigger a human pandemic.

Last year, under high-level pressure from China, the USDA passed a rule allowing China to export to the United States chickens that were grown and slaughtered in North America and then processed in China - a rule that quickly passed through multiple levels of review and was approved the day before Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in Washington last April.

Now the rule that China really wants, allowing it to export its own birds to the United States, is in the works, said Richard Raymond, USDA's undersecretary for food safety. Reports in China have repeatedly hinted that only if China gets its way on chicken exports to the United States will Beijing lift its four-year-old ban on importing U.S. beef. Raymond denies any link.

Raymond said permission for China to sell poultry to the United States is moving ahead because recent USDA audits found China's poultry slaughterhouses to be equivalent to those here.

Tony Corbo, a lobbyist for Food and Water Watch, a Washington advocacy group, said that finding - which is not subject to outside review - is unbelievable, given repeated findings of unsanitary conditions at China's chicken slaughterhouses. Corbo said he has seen some of those audits. "Everyone who has seen them was grossed out," he said.

http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_5941513?nclick_check=1

And...

Man Arrested in China in Sale of Fake Lard

A factory manager in eastern China has been arrested for using grease from swill, sewage, pesticides and recycled industrial oil to make lard for human consumption, the state news media said Monday.

Ying Fuming, a manager at the Fanchang Grease Factory in Taizhou, a city in Zhejiang Province, sold the lard at half the price of lard sold by other wholesalers while promising that his product met safety standards, the Shanghai Daily said.

''Some was recycled edible grease, such as oil refined from swill and cooked oil,'' it said. ''Some was grease rendered from sewage, and some was recycled industrial grease.''

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html...itories%2FChina

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That's ridiculous, and on top of it they assjockey politician are whining because it could hurt business. So what? People's and their pet's safety is far more important. This should be a f@#king no-brainer. I hate China.

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Chickety China, the Chinese Chicken; You have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin' :P

The $h! they try to pull on people is disgusting. I've heard multiple horror stories of food in China, the worst being the deaths of infants because of counterfeit baby formula. A bunch of assholes saw no problem with killing children.

And they want to sell me food? F*ck them.

Edited by Captainbooyah
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I don't trust China as a country anymore. They are too secretive about their intentions and have few regulations on anything. The nation has one of the largest armies in the world and continues building it up, and on top of that they are buying up companies left and right and control a large portion of our own economy. This is the country that thinks the US dollar should be valued half of what it is now...and they are buying more of our dollars to deplete the value. Now they want to send us chicken, which they have a less than stellar record of providing safe product...and Americans will scoop it up because they want everything dirt cheap. I'm sure Wal-Mart will be the first to stock it. :rolleyes:

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Guys, wake up: walk through any "Chinatown" in the favorite city of your choice (ours has 4 now) and you will see the hodgepodge that will be our future. Anything goes. Want to see Spiderman 3 on DVD? How about the latest Cds that aren't even on Cd yet?

The Wild Wild West and we are fighting each other to get into bed with the Chinese.

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I don't trust China as a country anymore. They are too secretive about their intentions and have few regulations on anything. The nation has one of the largest armies in the world and continues building it up, and on top of that they are buying up companies left and right and control a large portion of our own economy. This is the country that thinks the US dollar should be valued half of what it is now...and they are buying more of our dollars to deplete the value. Now they want to send us chicken, which they have a less than stellar record of providing safe product...and Americans will scoop it up because they want everything dirt cheap. I'm sure Wal-Mart will be the first to stock it. :rolleyes:

Right now, their 2 million man army is digging into the earth. Their plan is to dig threw the earth and come out in Kansas and take over the United States!!!!!! Their 1st target is the Fairfax, Kansas GM assembly plant, they want to copy the new Malibu and Aura! Can you say Chery? :AH-HA_wink:

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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This is the country that thinks the US dollar should be valued half of what it is now...

That's the only point where they actually have a valid argument. You can't run twin deficits forever and expect your currency not to depreciate.

Re the food, it's simple IMO: ban its import. That's what was done to British beef when mad cow disease struck.

Edited by ZL-1
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>>"change will prove difficult, policy experts say, in large part because U.S. companies have become so dependent on the Chinese economy that tighter rules on imports stand to harm the U.S. economy, too."<<

American businesses will adapt no doubt- the resultant re-direction of food raising & sourcing will only benefit domestic producers.

The ONLY benefit we see from dealing with china is cheaper junk. The risks and loss of money on the backside aren't worth it.

Severe the ties now.

The chinese companies increasingly cement the ideaology that they simply do not care... about anything other than money. 75% of anything I've ever dealt with that's been chinese-made has been a complete waste of time & money. I avoid their products at all costs.

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Ahh... The joys of globalization!

Who thought this was a good idea again?!?! To base our future completely on other countries?

Excellent, upstanding american citizens those people were!

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ON CNBC last night, they had a segment about this and pitted a regular guy vs. a Libertarian (he was from the Ayn Rynd institute). While I like the "no religion" "keep our private lives private" aspect of Libertarianism, I just can't understand how anyone believes that unrestrained capitalism would work.

What you have in China right now is just that, and look what that gets you? Death, sickness, pollution like we have never seen. If capitalism is not regulated to make sure that the heath and safety of the people are job #1 (instead of making a profit - which is a company's job #1), then you get fake lard made out of human feces. End of story.

The also talked to a woman that wrote a book about spending a year without buying anything made in China. Her kids got about 10 toys over the year and most of them were Legos. Basically the wonderful businesses here in the USA have made it impossible for us to detach from the poison that is the trade imbalance with China. Free trade is still a good thing... right? Sure.

http://www.amazon.com/Year-Without-Made-Ch...6699&sr=8-1

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Free Trade cannot exist in a vacuum, for sure. A free Press is probably more important, and that is something that China does not have. For example, if lard was made out of human feces and a disgruntled employee went to a national paper (not local, because even in our countries they don't like to rock the boat) and blew the whistle, bad publicity would ruin that company. Currently, Chinese companies don't have that worry - at least not over there.

I recently shopped for a new a/c unit, and let me tell you - finding one NOT made in China is impossible. I went to Canadian Tire, Home Depot, Wal-Mart (I was getting desperate), The Bay and Sears - they were all made in China. Future Shop's was quite clever, however - their a/c unit while claiming to be an American company, in the fine print said Made in PRC (People's Republic of China.) Clever, very clever. So, I gave up and bought a 6,000 btu unit with remote control, timer and all the bells for $230. My Carrier unit (made in Canada) that I bought 5 years ago (and use in another room) cost me $400.

I guess the $64,000 question is: Is the economy truly better off because I have an extra $170 in my pocket? Perhaps, if I spent that money on something actually made here in North America, or went to a restaurant, for example. But what if I spent the money on, say, a toaster also made in China?

I don't have the answer, but economists and staticians scare me. I see in my own line of work how they twist and distort figures to suit their agenda, without actually lying. Is an omission a lie? I personally don't see any inherent value in legions of service workers (bankers, insurance agents, administrators, etc.) replacing manufacturing base jobs. I mean, do those fat cats in Wall Street or Madison Avenue produce anything? They push paper around and produce paper profits. But if all the factories, mines and technical staff for those factories and mines are overseas, what is left of us?

At the rate things are going, Asian and Middle Eastern companies or countries are going to own so much of us that they will be calling the shots. Dig deep into some of the biggest American or Canadian companies and see who is buying up their shares. I'll give you a hint: who has the cash?

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Effin' disgusting. Communist China needs to go f**k off.

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I don't care if my electronics are built in China (well I do, but at this point I no longer have a choice in the matter). I do care, very fervently, that we are importing the stuff that we EAT from China.

We should not be importing any food from China if they're using deceptive tactics to export it here. Period.

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What you have in China right now is just that, and look what that gets you? Death, sickness, pollution like we have never seen. If capitalism is not regulated to make sure that the heath and safety of the people are job #1 (instead of making a profit - which is a company's job #1), then you get fake lard made out of human feces. End of story.

This is pretty much the way I see it. Free Trade is great in concept, but you need checks and balances to keep it from going overboard like what is happening with China and our growing national deficit. Like they say, moderation to everything is key...that includes globalization.
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Free Trade cannot exist in a vacuum, for sure. A free Press is probably more important, and that is something that China does not have. For example, if lard was made out of human feces and a disgruntled employee went to a national paper (not local, because even in our countries they don't like to rock the boat) and blew the whistle, bad publicity would ruin that company. Currently, Chinese companies don't have that worry - at least not over there.

I recently shopped for a new a/c unit, and let me tell you - finding one NOT made in China is impossible. I went to Canadian Tire, Home Depot, Wal-Mart (I was getting desperate), The Bay and Sears - they were all made in China. Future Shop's was quite clever, however - their a/c unit while claiming to be an American company, in the fine print said Made in PRC (People's Republic of China.) Clever, very clever. So, I gave up and bought a 6,000 btu unit with remote control, timer and all the bells for $230. My Carrier unit (made in Canada) that I bought 5 years ago (and use in another room) cost me $400.

I guess the $64,000 question is: Is the economy truly better off because I have an extra $170 in my pocket? Perhaps, if I spent that money on something actually made here in North America, or went to a restaurant, for example. But what if I spent the money on, say, a toaster also made in China?

I don't have the answer, but economists and staticians scare me. I see in my own line of work how they twist and distort figures to suit their agenda, without actually lying. Is an omission a lie? I personally don't see any inherent value in legions of service workers (bankers, insurance agents, administrators, etc.) replacing manufacturing base jobs. I mean, do those fat cats in Wall Street or Madison Avenue produce anything? They push paper around and produce paper profits. But if all the factories, mines and technical staff for those factories and mines are overseas, what is left of us?

At the rate things are going, Asian and Middle Eastern companies or countries are going to own so much of us that they will be calling the shots. Dig deep into some of the biggest American or Canadian companies and see who is buying up their shares. I'll give you a hint: who has the cash?

Then people like us can sit around... With our service jobs (That BTW pay A LOT less than the manufacturing jobs they're replacing) in our shacks driving our outdated domestics (Because there will be no domestic industry by then) and say "I told you so!"

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Mines go where the minerals are, commodity prices are more critical than labor costs.

Here is something to consider—rising fuel costs will eventually make shipping low-value goods across the Pacific uneconomical, and demand for agricultural products in China already outstrips supply. I'm surprised China even allows food exports.

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That's the beauty of a Communist system: the government can DO anything it wants. Look at the Three Gorges Dam - they moved over a million people. Try and do that over here! They can ship all the food they want here, because the Press over there is not free to report it so if the peasants are starving nobody over there will know.

Everyone (including us in the West) are getting bamboozled by the spectacle of the awesome skyline in Beijing and Shangai. Nobody is looking below this facade.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/19/world/am...amp;oref=slogin

A main ingredient in anti-freeze was put into Chinese-produced toothpaste and sent to Panama...this is the same ingredient that the Chinese sent over labeled as a harmless glycerin that was mixed into medicine and killed over 100 people in Panama. The countries of the world need to put some serious pressure on China to clean up its act, or else I say boycott all food and hygiene products from them.

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Well.....we could/should have finished the chinese off in '53 when we were busy kicking their and the North Korean's asses...but that's just me and my opinion, and its like an asshole, everyone has one.

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Well.....we could/should have finished the chinese off in '53 when we were busy kicking their and the North Korean's asses...but that's just me and my opinion, and its like an asshole, everyone has one.

Um.. last I checked China kicked ass in Korea.
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They did initially overrun US installations and push them back down past the 38th Parallel, but once that happened and after the winter of '52, the US and UN forces actually managed to push North Korean and Chinese forces back up towards the North Korean/Chinese border. Actually we should have allowed MacAurthur to do what he wanted to do which is nuke 'em......

Edited by 76ChevyTrucker
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Nukes right at the first major conflict of the Cold War? That would have gone over well...

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History may not have judged that move favorably, but it does make one wonder if the Cold War would have turned out different, doesn't it? Think of the billions and billions of dollars wasted over 40 years to guard Europe and Japan against a menace that could have been dealt with at a time when the U.S. had a clear lead in technology and ability.

Just think of what may have happened if the Allied Forces had kept on going through Berlin and into eastern Europe, all the way to Moscow.

Entire generations of people's lives have been wasted, both in Eastern Europe, Russia and Asia, due to the hopelessness spread by Communism.

Just wonder....... :scratchchin:

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Mines go where the minerals are, commodity prices are more critical than labor costs.

Here is something to consider—rising fuel costs will eventually make shipping low-value goods across the Pacific uneconomical, and demand for agricultural products in China already outstrips supply. I'm surprised China even allows food exports.

Shipping is very fuel efficient compared to trucking, though. It might take a long time for this to take effect.

Chris

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...and getting back on the China topic here is a funny, true story. Here in Columbus right down the street from the electrical project my company is finishing one of our rivals decided to put in all Chinese made light fixtures in a 5 story office building.

The inspector, who happened to be a really sharp guy, noticed that they were not U.L. listed.

Every light fixture from the building wound up going into dumpsters and being replaced with stuff made here in North America. Some of the replacement was made in Mexico, which is alas much better than China.

And yes, China does need to screw themselves.

Chris

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