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1/5 China food and consumer products ‘unsafe’

Posted by Author on July 8, 2007

David Barboza from Shanghai, The Age, Australia, July 6, 2007-

CHINA has found that nearly a fifth of the food and consumer products checked in a nationwide survey this year were substandard or tainted.

The discoveries underscore the risk faced by its own consumers as China’s exports come under greater scrutiny overseas.

Regulators said the survey of foods, agricultural tools, clothing, women’s and children’s products and other goods had turned up sizeable quality and safety failure rates for products sold domestically.

The Government said, for instance, that canned and preserved fruit and dried fish contained excessive bacteria; that 20 per cent of fruit and vegetable juice was substandard, and that some children’s products were defective or laced with harmful chemicals.

Regulators said, in effect, that goods sold in China were far more hazardous than the exports that were driving the country’s economic growth and now partly the subject of safety and quality debates.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration said it would block certain types of Chinese-processed seafood, including shrimp, eel and catfish, from entering the US, unless it was certified to be safe.

US regulators say they were forced to act by a sharp rise in the number of seafood products contaminated with carcinogens or excessive antibiotic residues.

Facing a storm of criticism, China has repeatedly defended the quality and safety of its food and exports. But regulators have moved to crack down on fake and poor-quality foods and consumer products.

During the last month, officials say they have discovered candied fruit with 63 times the permitted amount of sweetener; excessive additives and preservatives in nearly 40 per cent of the children’s snacks surveyed; fake human blood protein at hospitals; and food tainted with formaldehyde, illegal dyes and industrial wax.

Last week, the Government said it had shut about 180 food factories nationwide. From December to May, regulators said they uncovered 23,000 cases involving fake or low-quality food.

Experts say aggressive and opportunistic entrepreneurs continue to take advantage of the country’s chronically weak enforcement of regulations.

– original report from Australia: China’s food, goods ‘unsafe’

One Response to “1/5 China food and consumer products ‘unsafe’”

  1. MyLaowai said

    Um, sorry to be unhelpful, but you got your figures completely wrong.

    You said “nearly a fifth of the food and consumer products checked in a nationwide survey this year were substandard or tainted”, but, according to Xinhua, the reality is that four fifths of the food and consumer products checked in a nationwide survey this year were up to standard and not tainted.

    You just don’t understand China blah blah blah….

    But, good post.

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