July 8, 2007

Wha Wha Wha?? Veggie Booty Veggie Made In China?

So that green stuff all over the kid's hands, that gave 57 other kids the salmonella, is made in China. How comforting that Robert's American [sic] Gourmet chairman Robert Ehrlich claimed not to know that their veggie seasoning came from China.

Would requiring country of origin labels on food help Ehrlich and his customers out? If the view from Wal-Mart's any indication, a "Made in China" label's not slowing too many people down. The NY Times:

In 2002, a law was passed that required such labeling on most agricultural products, but the meat and grocery industries successfully campaigned to keep it from going into effect, except for seafood.

Salmonella poisoning blamed on Chinese-made ingredients [iht]
In Fear and Scandal, Some Find a New Drum to Beat [nyt]


We have more high quality arable land than any country in the world. We have a vast supply of cheap farm labor right across the border. We have relatively pristine air and water. Yet we choose to heavily subsidize corn growing, creating a vast corn surplus which we then turn into high fructose corn syrup, and now ethanol. And every year we import more and more of our real vegetables from countries with poor agricultural land, lax oversight, and polluted land, air, and water.

Here's a hot tip on the next food scandal. Did you know the FDA seldom tests imported food for lead or other heavy metals? China, of course, is carpeted with poorly designed coal burning power plants which very efficiently distribute mercury across the countryside, and poorly run factories that spew lead and cadmium all over the place. And, of course, they are fond of dumping shit, literally and figuratively, into the rivers and groundwater sources. Thousands of Chinese people are suffering from lead poisoning due to tainted food- food we are increasingly importing.

Seriously, does every single freakin industry have an army of lobbyists to make sure that nobody can find out what they're doing or that they're selling out the health and even life of their consumers, all in the name of profit?

I get irritated enough with all the celebrity scandal nonsense on all the time, but the fact that major news outlets have stuff like that on instead of major exposes showing how badly our congresspeople have sold us out makes me want to storm the corporate HQ with pitchforks and torches.

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