Did you know that, in 2017, the United States was the third-largest buyer of Chinese food products, after Japan and Hong Kong? And did you know that China is plagued by soil, water, and air pollution?
You don’t have to be a genius to connect the dots here. It stands to reason that food grown in a toxic environment couldn’t be all that good to eat.
The Chinese government doesn’t do much in the way of regulating industrial agriculture in their vast country. The soil and water are polluted with heavy metals such as lead, residues from heavily-sprayed pesticides, and industrial waste.
Communist officials and captains of industry choose profits over health and safety concerns. The food inspection process is known to be completely corrupted, to the point where most Chinese consumers have low confidence that the food they eat is wholesome and nutritious.
Many agricultural shipments arriving in the United States from China are rejected by U.S. Customs agents because they test positive for harmful additives, drug residues, mislabeling, and general filth. But some tainted food escapes detection and may be lurking right now in your neighborhood grocery store.
Chinese farmers say that the irrigation water they use is frequently discolored and black. This “dirty water” (as they call it) is the only option available to water their crops.
The combination of corrupt health and agricultural officials plus fraudulent mislabeling has resulted in the shocking fact that contaminated products from China are more common than not. Misleading packaging also means no one can trust that what they are eating is safe.
Some Chinese foods have proven deadly:
“A crisis in confidence in China’s food industry emerged after melamine was found in domestically produced baby formula in 2008. The scandal sickened 300,000 babies and resulted in six premature deaths. Other stories of fake eggs, diseased pork, recycled oil, mislabelled meat and more have only led to more calls for industry reform.”
America fell victim to Chinese callous indifference to and blatant disregard of agricultural quality standards in 2007 when thousands of cats and dogs died after snacking on pet treats tainted with melamine and cyanuric acid. The poisoned imports were recalled from grocery stores and pet owners sought legal damages. A total of $12,357,277 was paid on 20,229 claims from the United States and Canada. According to court documents:
“Unscrupulous suppliers in China added the contaminants in trying to inflate the apparent protein levels in wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate. The adulterated ingredients ended up in foods and treats made by 12 different manufacturers.”
Food safety incidents in China have been documented since 2003 when several small producers of Jinhua hams “operated out of season and produced hams during warmer months, treating their hams with pesticides to prevent spoilage and insect infestation. The hams were soaked in the pesticide dichlorvos, which is a volatile organophosphate insecticide used for fumigation.”
Even more famous was news from April 2004 when “at least 13 babies in Fuyang, Anhui and 50–60 more in rural areas of Anhui died of malnourishment from ingesting fake powdered milk.” Local officials arrested 47 people involved in making and selling the counterfeit formula. More than 141 factories produced the substandard formula and 45 types of it turned up for sale in Fuyang markets. Chinese agents seized 2,540 bags of fake formula by mid-April and the State Food and Drug Administration ordered an investigation in May that year.
The list of food safety offenses goes on, from soy sauce made from human hair to poisonous mushrooms to a 2013 incident ominously titled the “Cat Meat Scandal,” in which a corrupt slaughterhouse in Huai’an City near Shanghai sold butchers cat meat as “rabbit.”
Americans need to be concerned about Chinese food imports because we consume a lot of it:
“China provides 90 percent of the Vitamin A consumed by Americans, 78 percent of the tilapia, 70 percent of the apple juice, 50 percent of the cod, 43 percent of the processed mushrooms, and 23 percent of the garlic,” that Americans consume.”
There are nine foods to shun, according to the experts:
- Fish (tilapia, cod, any fish from China)
- Chicken (may be tainted with the avian flu)
- Apples and apple juice (don’t trust the “organic” label)
- Rice (some imitations are made of resin and potato)
- Mushrooms (could be poisonous – why risk it?)
- Salt (from polluted soil)
- Black pepper (or flaked mud?)
- Green peas (may be made of soy, sodium metabisulfite, green dye, and a small amount of real peas)
- Garlic (possibly contaminated by the pesticide methyl bromide)
Chinese food is so low-quality and downright dangerous to human health that, during the Obama administration, a petition circulated, demanding “to stop chicken from, or processed in, China from reaching our supermarkets and the meals we feed our school children.”
Chew on that a while.