Friday, June 8

Chinese Food and Lead

There has been lots in the news about problems with food products coming out of China recently. This is something that I have been expecting for a while and why I have been avoiding all food products labeled as coming from China.

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has branded a U.S. warning against using its toothpaste as irresponsible, saying low levels of diethylene glycol (DEG) were not harmful.

"So far we have not received any report of death resulting from using the toothpaste. The U.S. handling (of this case) is neither scientific nor responsible," China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said in a statement posted on its Web site over the weekend. - Reuters

So according to China, it's perfectly ok to brush your teeth with antifreeze as long as it does not kill you. Why don't they take the step and use it as a marketing program against US-made toothpaste that fails to include the amazing cleaning power of "DEG".

The comment by the Chinese official is even more irresponsible since Chinese DEG has killed people in South America after being added to mouth wash. In fairness, the mouth wash was made in South America. The DEG was added (in error) as a result of the product being mislabeled by the manufacturer to infer that it was something that it was not. This poisonous ingrediant most likely ended up in the recalled toothpaste as a cheap replacement for a similar food-grade ingredient.

The problem with Chinese food products as I see it, is that the (Communist) Chinese culture is one that will do more to conceal problems than correct them. When was the last time you heard of the Chinese doing a voluntary recall?

My concern with Chinese food has to do with lead poisoning. I think at some point we are going to find out that some Chinese food products contain high levels of lead. I got this thought one day when I noticed that a can of mandarin oranges was 'made in China'. It was a name-brand product, but once I saw that little note stating where it came from, the package no longer looked so shiny or appealing.

The funny thing with lead, is that you are often more likely to get it from something other than food. World Net Daily has this timely piece:

WASHINGTON – In the wake of scandals involving tainted food and toothpaste from China comes word of a new concern from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission as well as the Food and Drug Administration – toys, makeup, glazed pottery and other products that contain significant amounts of lead.

While lead poisoning among children was once mainly caused by old paint, U.S. manufacturers long ago banned the ingredient. Today, a new rash of high lead levels in the bloodstreams of American kids is being caused by foreign products – mainly from China. - WorldNetDaily.com

So perhaps my lead fear was misplaced. No matter, there is clearly a problem with food products coming out of China. Now, in addition to the food products, I also need to be concerned about everything else coming out of China. (Go read the whole World Net Daily story and then read their other China story "Seafood imports from China raised in untreated sewage")

In general, I always check to see where a product is made.

And yes, I often choose the higher-priced US-made product over a foreign-made one. There just might be a good reason why that other product costs more.

China says U.S. warning on toothpaste irresponsible - Reuters

1 comment:

memi said...

A communist regime does not consider what is best for its people. A communist government works only with statistics and not with real flesh and blood people.