What happens to the alleged culprits of Food Fraud in China? Part 2 of 2

December 23, 2015

If you read Part One of this two part series, you are probably thinking it isn’t safe to eat in China so you will stick to American food.

However, Wall Street Journal.com reported, “Struggles with food safety are not a specifically Chinese problem. Many countries, including the U.S. and Japan, have gone through similar growing pains in the food industry, says Wu Ming, a professor at Beijing University’s school of public health.”

Professor Ming is correct. Down to Earth.org reports, “Every day in the US about 200,000 people become sick, 900 are hospitalized and 14 die (that’s more than 5,000 annually) due to food borne illnesses (and few if any people are punished for these deaths). According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about one quarter of the American population suffers from food poisoning each year.”

It’s just business as usual and those food deaths are collateral damage on the way to making profits.

New U.S. Laws for food safety cover all food except meat, poultry and some egg products and there are other exceptions too. In fact, the CDC.gov reports, “Every year, about 48 million of us, roughly one in six people in the United States, get sick from eating contaminated food—it could be you, your spouse, your kids, your parents, or other loved ones.”

And if you believe China is not doing anything about food safety, think again. I Googled “arrests in China for food safety”.

The first hit for 2014 from Food Safety News reported, “Chinese Police Arrest More Than 100 People for Selling Contaminated Pork.”

In 2013, The Guardian reported, “China arrests 900 in fake meat scandal.”

In addition, the U.S. is no saint. Sustainable Business Forum.com says, “Unlike the U.S., China arrests Food Safety Violators.”

Helena Bottemiller of Food Safety News.com recently reported, “Current statutes (in the U.S.) do not provide sufficient criminal sanctions for those who knowingly violate our food safety laws,” said Leahy, who has become an outspoken advocate of food safety reform. “Knowingly distributing adulterated food is merely a misdemeanor right now, and the Sentencing Commission has found that it generally does not result in jail time.”

In conclusion, if you are in the food industry in China and want to take short cuts regarding food safety to boost profits while possibly killing people along the way, the United States is a safer place to commit murder while making a profit, because in China, you might go to prison and even be executed.

Return to or Start with Part 1

______________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

IMAGE with Blurbs and Awards to use on Twitter

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What happens to the alleged culprits of Food Fraud in China? Part 1 of 2

December 22, 2015

In 2011, Wall Street Journal.com reported, “Ink, dye, bleach and toxic chemicals … have been found recently in food products in China, reigniting fears over food safety despite repeated government pledges to crack down on tainted eats.”

Sounds bad, but don’t judge China before reading this entire two-part series to discover that China is not alone in the struggle to make food safer to eat.

It isn’t as if China’s government is not trying to improve food safety. In 2011, Al-Jazeera’s Melissa Chang reported from Beijing about China’s government vowing to improve food safety laws. In fact, according to Melissa Chang, more than 2,000 people across the country were arrested for failing to meet food safety standards.

The Wall Street Journal said, “One of the biggest issues is the drive to make a buck at any cost, says Lester Ross, a Beijing-based attorney with U.S. law firm Wilmer Hale. Some companies see that by using additives, they can cut overhead costs or boost profit margins, and they merely aren’t thinking about the affects the additives will have on consumers, Mr. Ross says.”

Melissa Chang demonstrated how a chemical sauce to turn meats such as pork into beef can change any meat that isn’t beef into beef so the enterprising capitalist can charge more and increase profits.

Is that capitalism at work?

Since living in China means awareness of such trickery, “Many Chinese,” Chang says, “pay a premium to know exactly where the food they eat comes from.”

Chang then talked about an organic food cooperative in the suburbs of Beijing, which was established by families to buy directly from organic farmers and the project was successful.

However, Chang said, “Even the best intentions (may) go awry.” Organic in China doesn’t mean the food would qualify as organic outside of China since so much of the air and water is polluted there.  It is a challenge to grow quality produce.  Achieving better standards will take years.”

What about food safety in the U.S.? Continued on December 23, 2015, in Part 2

______________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

#1 - Joanna Daneman review posted June 19 2014

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What is the Real Cause of Most Riots?

December 9, 2015

When the Western media reports that a riot happened in China don’t mistake this unrest as a demand for a Western style democracy as the media did when the Tiananmen Square protests took place in 1989. Just because a few young people were captured on camera in China saying they want a democracy doesn’t mean the majority of Chinese do.

For example, CNN reported a June 10, 2011 riot in Xintang located in southern China.  Witnesses and media reports said local officials beat up a pregnant migrant worker and her husband, pushing the woman to the ground. Mass protests ensued, quickly spiraling to violent clashes with government forces that spread to other parts of Xintang, a city of 400,000 residents, almost half of them migrant workers.

The result was the arrest of 19 men, which included nine teenagers.

If you read the CNN report, you’ll discover that a slowdown in economic growth (caused by the 2008 global financial crises, which started in the U.S. due to greed and lax laws) in China caused social tensions between rural versus urban, ethnic minority against majority, and haves versus have-nots, which caused several riots in different areas of China.

The same thing happened in 1947 when General (and dictator) Chiang Kai-shek ordered his army to quell a riot in Taiwan. The result was the 2/28 Massacre in Taiwan where 30,000 civilians were killed by the military.

The reasons for riots around the world seldom have to do with a demand for a Western style democracy. Even in the Middle East where there have been riots and calls for democracy, according to the Western media, most of the people involved don’t know what a democracy is or how to set one up. They just want some form of social justice.

In 1992, in Los Angeles, there was the Rodney King riot caused by ethnic strife, which ended with about $1 billion in property damages in addition to 53 people killed and thousands injured. The U.S. Marines and Army had to be called in to regain control and there were shootings between the military and civilians.

In Oakland, California there were several riots caused by the 2009 killing of an unarmed black man that took place at a BART station.  Hundreds took to the streets to protest while looters broke into stores and set cars on fire.

In 2001, England had riots in three cities due to tensions in the South Asian Islamic community. It was estimated that the riot in Bradford, England involved about a thousand youths and eventually it took a thousand police to end it.

A 2011, a riot in Vancouver erupted after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup.  After the game, many teenagers went on a rampage attempting to shatter windows and loot stores.  When one man tried to stop them, he was jumped by no fewer than 15 people, who beat and kicked him until he was left a bloodied heap on the ground.

Wikipedia lists many of the reasons for riots, which may stem from the unlawful use of force by a group of police against civilians, prison riots, race riots, religious riots, student riots, urban riots, sports riots, and food/bread riots that have taken place all over the world no matter what form of government a country has.

However, when the Western media reports about riots in China, it’s almost always mentioned that China’s central government is challenged to prevent widespread grievances from taking place as if riots in China are different than riots in other countries.

According to the history of riots, this challenge of an unruly civilian population is a problem all governments eventually face and the job of governments the world over is to end the killing and damage as soon as possible by whatever means to restore order.

______________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

#1 - Joanna Daneman review posted June 19 2014

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Korean War POWs compared to America’s Illegal Wars in Laos and Cambodia

August 5, 2015

Chinese history shows that since the time of Qin Shi Huangdi, China’s first emperor (221 – 207 B.C.), the standard practice in war was to execute POWs because they were a burden that might lead to defeat.  An army that doesn’t have to feed and guard POWs is more effective at fighting and winning.  Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan knew this fact too.

Some time ago I watched a documentary on the Korean War that mentioned that 87% of United Nations (U.N.) troops captured by the People’s Liberation Army or North Korean troops during the war died in captivity, but it doesn’t explain how they died.

In fact, while there was strong evidence that North Korean Troops executed U.N. POWs, the Chinese rarely executed prisoners like their North Korean counterparts did. Instead, mass starvation and diseases swept through the Chinese POW camps during the winter of 1950-51. “About 43 percent of all U.S. POWs died during this period.” The Chinese defended what happened because Chinese troops during this period also suffered mass starvation and diseases due to an incompetent logistics supply system. Even the civilian population behind the Communist lines didn’t have enough to eat. – wikipedia.org

Surviving U.N. POWs, however, have disagreed with this claim. Click on the previous link to see what the POWs had to say.

Even though the Wiki piece claims “both the Communists and United Nations forces were committed to the terms of the 1949 Geneva Conventions III, regarding the treatment of POWs,” China didn’t join the United Nations until October 25, 1971 — twenty years later, and North Korea wouldn’t become a member of the U.N. until September 1991.

The International Treaties on the Laws of War written in Geneva and the Hague in 1938 by the League of Nations was meant for the “Protection of Civilian Populations Against Bombing from the Air in Case of War,” but during World War II, the US Air Force killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in Germany and Japan. Many of the bombs dropped were napalm (jellied gasoline) and the innocent along with enemy troops were roasted alive and that included the elderly, women and children.

In addition, the Geneva Convention for the treatment of Prisoners of War was written in 1949, the same year the Chinese Communists won the Civil War in China, but the U.S. had been an ally of the Nationalist Chinese since well before World War II and protected Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists in Taiwan after 1949 in spite of the fact that Chiang Kai-shek was a brutal dictator who ruled Taiwan with martial law and was responsible for the killing of more than thirty-thousand civilians in 1947 in the 2/28 Massacre in Taiwan.

While the behavior of Chinese and North Korean troops when it came to POW’s was unacceptable by Western humanitarian written standards, US forces are just as guilty when it comes to killing innocent civilians. It is estimated that the US killed between 1.5 and 3.6 million people in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia (note that the US bombings in Laos and Cambodia were illegal and were not approved by the U.S. Congress), and left behind a horrible legacy due to the use of Agent Orange.

“Not only did Nixon and Kissinger not seek the necessary approval from Congress to bomb Cambodia, (and Laos 1962-1969) they tried to conceal the bombing not only from the American public but Congress as well.” – Third World Traveler

In conclusion, written agreements seldom are practiced in war, and it is obvious these agreements do not save innocent lives. To learn more about the illegal US bombing in Laos, read National Geographic Magazine’s recent Life After the Bombs. “The total weight of the bombs dropped was many times greater than the weight of the people living in Laos, which at the time had a population of perhaps two million. It worked out to as much as a ton of bombs per person. … The bombs didn’t distinguish between communists and anticommunists any more than they distinguished between soldiers and children.”

______________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

IMAGE with Blurbs and Awards to use on Twitter

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Stopping Illegal Drug Trafficking in China

April 21, 2015

The expansion of poppy growing in recent years has created problems around the globe.

Even at one of the most remote border inspection stations in the world, the frontier guards must be vigilant against drug traffickers.

For instance, one border post in Xinjiang province along the border of China and Pakistan is at an altitude of 5,100 meters (almost 17,000 feet). The oxygen at this altitude is less than half of sea level. This is where China’s Hongqilafu border station stands.

In the last few years, more drugs have been smuggled across the Sino-Pakistani border because of the expansion of poppy growing in Afghanistan.

In fact, United Nations statistics show that 87% of all illegal heroin in the world comes from Afghanistan.

Khunjerab Pass

Li Shengyu, commander of the Hongqilafu Border Inspection Station says, “They need buyers for the huge amount of drugs. As far as we know, the drug dealers are targeting China as a new market and plan to make their way into China across the border at Hongqilafu.”

Between 2006 and 2008, huge amounts of drugs were intercepted at border stations. The Chinese border guards must be vigilant to discover hidden drugs among the tourists coming into China.

The most common method of smuggling is to hide the opium from Afghanistan in the smuggler’s luggage. The smugglers will also use other tricks to fool the inspectors.

At the Hongqilafu Border Inspection Station, one team of inspectors checks the luggage inside the station while another team inspects the empty bus.

China’s border guards even go under the tourist busses and check the bottom.  Sniffer dogs were sent to the station but the dogs died due to lack of oxygen.

The conditions at the border station have been improved over the years. At one time, the guards lived in trailers.  Now, they live in a new, updated border station in a permanent building.

One officer, who has been at the station for more than a decade, said, “In the past, when it was extremely cold in late winter, we couldn’t sleep at night. Sometimes the temperature fell so low that when I got up in the morning, I found that part of my cap had been frozen to the wall of the camper van.”

Grenztor nach Pakistan am Khunjerab Pass (4730m)

Khunjerab Pass (elevation 4,693 meters or 15,397 feet)

The Khunjerab Pass on the border between China and Pakistan is open from May 1 to October 31. For the rest of the year when the area is covered in ice and snow, the pass is closed. Yet, the border guards must be stationed there during the six months of the off season, and it’s a tough assignment even with improved living conditions.

As China has opened up more to the outside world, the Hongqilafu Border crossing is open to other nationalities than just Pakistanis. Each year, more tourists visit China along this route.

______________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

2015 Promotion Image for My Splendid Concubine

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The growing epidemic of illegal Drug use in China

February 4, 2015

There is a price that comes with living in a so-called “free” world with human rights that extend to every citizen — even hard-core criminals.

Besides violent crime and human trafficking (slavery), one of those challenges is the illegal drug trade.

For instance, in the United States, The DEA reports that Mexican drug cartels are making a bigger push to organize their black market activities in the United States, Europe and neighboring Latin American countries.

In fact, the US Justice Department reported, “The illegal drug market in the United States is one of the most profitable in the world.”

What about China? Between 1950 – 1976, China had little crime and had eliminated illegal drug use.  Under Mao, the drug traffickers were executed and addicts either rehabilitated or shot. Those who survived fled to Hong Kong, Macao, Europe and the United States. But after Mao’s death, that started to change.

Until the 1970s, China’s economy was managed by the communist government and was kept closed from other economies. Together with political reforms, China in the early 1980’s began to open its economy and signed a number of regional trade agreements.

Eventually China joined the World Trade Organization in December 2001. This meant that China could only engage in trade with the world following rules the CCP did not make. After China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO), the service sector was considerably liberalized and foreign investment was allowed; restrictions on retail, wholesale and distribution ended. Banking, financial services, insurance and telecommunications were also opened up to foreign investment.

That’s when the illegal business of trafficking in illegal drugs returned to China with a vengeance.

Since the early 1980’s, due to China’s economic boom to lift hundreds of millions out of poverty, some parts of the country now battle social problems, including soaring rates of drug addiction. One of the worst affected areas is China’s southern province of Yunnan, the entry point for most heroin.

Yunnan’s border is easy to cross from the infamous Golden Triangle. In Yunnan, a fix of heroin costs about the same as a US chocolate bar.

To deal with this challenge, Chinese authorities send heroin addicts to a drug rehabilitation center at the provincial capital of Yunnan province, which is where the largest drug rehabilitation center in the world is located.

The heroin addicts spend two years in a strict rehabilitation program to help kick the habit. However, once released, many return to addiction.

The Atlantic.com reports that “The country’s economy has exploded over the past quarter-century. … Only 25 years ago, narcotics and illicit drug use were nearly unheard of. Today, Chinese society and government authorities are increasingly grappling with the explosion in drug use and drug addicts, as well as how to respond to the phenomenon. With more relaxed borders, increased wealth, and greater individual freedoms, drug addiction and its consequences threaten to become a permanent fixture within Chinese society.”

In 1992, there were less than 180,000 registered drug abusers in China. By 2014, that number had climbed to about 2.5 million.

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Honorable Mentions in General Fiction
2012 San Francisco Book Festival
2012 New York Book Festival
2012 London Book Festival
2009 Los Angeles Book Festival
2009 Hollywood Book Festival

Finalist in Fiction & Literature – Historical Fiction
The National “Best Books 2010” Awards

 E-book_cover_MSC_July_24_2013

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The Development of Food Safety in China versus the United States

January 7, 2015

A friend sent me a piece about tainted supplements in the United States, and one paragraph grabbed my attention.

The New York Times said, “In recent years, a vast majority of supplement suppliers have located overseas—principally in China. Nearly all of the vitamin C and many other supplements consumed in the United States are made from ingredients made in Chinese plants. Those plants are almost never inspected by the FDA because the agency is not required to do so, has little money to do so and does not view the plants as particularly risky.”

China has an agency that is similar to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) founded in 2003 as part of an effort in China to improve food safety. Today, there are about ten government departments and ministries under the State Council responsible for food safety in China.

Although China’s CFDA is relatively new compared to America’s FDA (est. 1906), China appears to be taking food safety seriously compared to weaknesses discovered in America’s FDA.

Evidence that China is serious about food safety appeared on July 10, 2007, when Zheng Xiaoyu, the former head of the CFDA was executed by lethal injection for taking bribes from various firms in exchange for state licenses related to product safety. When has the United States sent a corrupt FDA or corporate official to prison let alone executed someone convicted of corruption?

Until the 1906 Food and Drug Act, America did not have an FDA (FDA Early History), and recently the Union of Concerned Scientists revealed that hundreds of agency scientists had been pressured to approve drugs despite reservations about safety.

For instance, WashingtonBlog.com reported that in the U.S. Giant Food Corporations Work Hand-In-Glove With Corrupt Government Agencies to Dish Up Cheap, Unhealthy Food. “Multinational food, drink and alcohol companies are using strategies similar to those employed by the tobacco industry to undermine public health policies, health experts said on Tuesday.”

Then there was the New Harvard Study that revealed how we cannot trust the FDA with public safety. The study points out how the FDA, which supposedly must be in charge of public health and safety, is nothing more than a puppet for giant pharmaceutical and drug companies.

 _______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Honorable Mentions in General Fiction
2012 San Francisco Book Festival
2012 New York Book Festival
2012 London Book Festival
2009 Los Angeles Book Festival
2009 Hollywood Book Festival

Finalist in Fiction & Literature – Historical Fiction
The National “Best Books 2010” Awards

 E-book_cover_MSC_July_24_2013

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