Is It Time to Stop Doing Business with China?
• Pet Food: This past April 5, the title of this cranky little e-zine was “Two Horrific Business Stories: Is It Smart to Outsource Your Reputation?” I explored the appalling sequence of events where the FDA received more than 10,000 complaints from terrified pet owners whose beloved cats and dogs were sick and dying of kidney failure. The culprit: A greedy Canadian entrepreneur that sold 100 brands of contaminated pet foods to Kroger, Safeway, Wal-Mart and many others; the stuff was laced with the industrial chemical melarmine used to make glue, fire retardant and plastics as well as used as fertilizer in China. The original supplier was a greedy entrepreneur from Jiangsu province, China. Even though he knew pets were dying, the greedy Canadian compounded his crime by waiting weeks to notify pet owners, resulting in dozens of pet deaths.
• Human Food: “The volume of food imports from overseas is approaching 10 million per year,” said retired Food and Drug Administration Associate Commissioner William Hubbard in Senate testimony. “And the number that FDA inspectors physically examine is in the single digit thousands—making it virtually certain that any given food shipment will enter the United States with no FDA inspection.”
Combine this with last fall’s report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that “China has one of the world’s highest rates of chemical fertilizer use per hectare, and Chinese farmers use many highly toxic pesticides, including some that are banned in the United States” and a serious problem exists.
Major American food manufacturers such as Kraft, Sara Lee, General Foods and General Mills import dozens of ingredients for their processed cheeses, snacks and cereals, and Kraft, among others, is lobbying the U.S. government to press China to improve its food safety.
The idea that these huge conglomerates are putting the onus on the federal government to protect them from imported Chinese poison is laughable. As a consumer, I expect Kraft et al., to protect me, my loved ones, my dog Auggie and my cat Sci-Fi, from contaminated imported ingredients from China that—in addition to melarmine—can include: