China puts lipstick on a pig

One hundred eighty food processing plants are closed in China in an attempt to save face on the world market. Check this out, from the China Daily:

Industrial raw materials, such as dyes, mineral oils, paraffin wax, formaldehyde and the carcinogenic malachite green, have been used in the production of flour, candy, pickles, biscuits, black fungus, melon seeds, bean curd and seafood.

Some processors also use recycled or expired food in their operations, according to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

“These are not isolated cases,” Han Yi, director of the administration’s quality control and inspection department, said at a press conference.

He said most of the cases involved small, unlicensed food-processing plants employing less than 10 people. All plants caught engaging in illegal practices have been shut down, he added.

Administration figures show that about 75 percent of the 1 million food-processing plants in the country are small and privately owned.

180 plants shut down. But there are 1 million food processing plants in China. Think about that.

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Diethylene glycol, now for children

I hate to keep hammering away at this, but until Chinese companies stop trying to poison the rest of the world, the NY Times and Logipundit are going to keep talking about it. Turns out toothpaste made in China is more fit for unfriendly neighborhood dogs than for kids, but that doesn’t stop Chinese companies from marketing their toxic toothpaste for children.

Panamanian authorities said they believed the tainted toothpaste found in their country, containing up to 4.6 percent diethylene glycol, came from China.

Executives from both companies under investigation in China denied in interviews on Monday that they had exported any toothpaste containing diethylene glycol to Panama.

“We didn’t do this; we didn’t make the bad stuff,” said Shi Lei, a manager at Danyang City Success. “It was probably someone else.“

But Ms. Shi and other toothpaste makers in this region said that diethylene glycol had been used in toothpaste in China for years and that producers believed it was not very harmful.

Government investigators arrived here just days after customs officials in Panama said that they had discovered diethylene glycol in 6,000 tubes of toothpaste. The toothpaste was being sold under the English brand names Mr. Cool and Excel.

There have been no reports of deaths tied to toothpaste containing the chemical.

Dr. Douglas Throckmorton, deputy director for the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the F.D.A., said diethylene glycol levels found in some Panamanian toothpaste was nearly 50 times greater than what is deemed safe. “Kids swallow toothpaste,” Dr. Throckmorton said. “That is going to be a concern to you.”

Tainted Chinese Imports

Rejection rates of Chinese food imports 25x those of Canada…wow. That’s not a rounding error.

I’m glad to see this matter receiving more attention as of late. I can’t say that I have a lot of faith in the Chinese government to clean up their act with regards to ensuring no tainted food leaves their country. Nor do I anticipate the FDA doing anything respect-worthy. Sadly, it may take a catastrophie to get the wheels turning here.

Center of Science in the Public Interest picks up the case

It’s not often I’m in the same boat with CSPI, but I’m jumping in with both feet here.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington, D.C.-based group that advocates health and food safety, recommended that the FDA bar the import of grains from China. “If U.S. pets must serve as the ‘puppies in the coal mine,’ we urge FDA to heed the warning and take action now to ban grains and other grain products until the Chinese government and producers can guarantee that these imports are free of illegal and dangerous substances,” the group said in a written statement…

US food imports from China–2+ billion$?

Don’t have time to post much these days. But fair warning…where is your seafood coming from?

The list of Chinese food exports rejected at American ports reads like a chef’s nightmare: pesticide-laden pea pods, drug-laced catfish, filthy plums and crawfish contaminated with salmonella.

"Made in China"=toxicity?

First it was wheat gluten, now keychains. This is only the beginning.

About 396-thousand metal key chains made in China and sold by Dollar General stores from December 2005 through January 2007 are being recalled.

Free trade is good and all, but until China manufacturers are up to the safety standards of the west, the public must be cautious about buying Chinese products. Then again, try to find a mug not made in China.

DON’T EAT THE PEANUT BUTTER.

Guess I shouldn’t stock up on Peanut Butter. Had no less than four jars of Peanut Butter with the dreaded “2111” batch number on the lid. Seems to be a trend these days, staple foods like spinach and peanut butter (who can live without spinach and peanut butter?) causing pandemic infections nationwide.

It’s an interesting trend to me…Is this new or have I just not noticed this before?…and it’s worldwide. The first I remember was of course the Mad Cow Disease scare. Now you have nachos in Australia being recalled, and hummous in the UK, and cantaloupe and organic baby food here in the U.S.

Can’t figure out whether we’re just hearing about it more, whether it’s a result of less regulation or more regulation, an uptick in lawsuits, a downtick in lawsuits?

Peter Pan peanut butter pulled