“Eat your poisoned food from China Tommy; it’s good for… um… the economy”.
As the story slowly unravels from the sluggish, mostly quiescent US press it turns out that China has been shipping toxic food products to the United States for years, and over-worked, under-funded federal inspectors have known all about it.
From the Post today: “Under the Bush administration in particular… if a proposed regulation does get past agency or department heads, it hits the wall at the White House Office of Management and Budget.”
The Bush Office Of Management and Budget has never seen a food safety regulation it liked, and indeed plans are in the works to allow chicken to be imported from China despite the obvious risks to consumers.
Further from the Post: “Trading with the largely unregulated Chinese marketplace has its risks, of course, as evidenced by the many lawsuits that U.S. pet food companies now face from angry consumers who say their pets were poisoned by tainted Chinese ingredients. Until recently, however, many companies and even the federal government reckoned that, on average, those risks were worth taking.”
Unfortunately for US consumers, as outlined in the article, cheap Chinese imports have driven many US manufacturers out of business so that for example, 80% of the ascorbic acid used to preserve foods in the United States comes from China. Many other products such as the now infamous wheat gluten are made almost exclusively in China now. Avoiding Chinese food products or additives is almost impossible in the United States because there are no labeling laws that mandate US manufacturers to list the country of origin for their ingredients.
So all of you out there who are arguing in favor of libertarians and further deregulation, beware of what you wish for, you might just get a mouthful of toxins, with love, from China.