It is the rather unfortunate truth that in the pursuit of the greatest profits possible, food manufacturers will sometimes take measures that put the health of the consumer at risk, whether knowingly or unknowingly — it turns to criminality when the health problem is brought to the attention of the manufacturer and they continue to press forward just to make a few extra dollars.
One would think, for example, after a massive crisis in China in which melamine was found in infant formula and other dairy products that measures would be taken to prevent it from happening once more. Not so for it continues to be found in foods. Let us be clear — melamine never has any place being in food. It is not something that should be fed to animals because it is cheap because it eventually makes us sick.
Problems like these seem to be exploding all over China where even glow-in-the-dark Pork (not meant as a practical joke) has been manufactured and sold.
Recent scandals have included pork found on the market so loaded with bacteria that it glowed in the dark, according to a state press report. Authorities have discovered bean sprouts laced with cancer-causing nitrates, steamed buns with banned chemical preservatives, and rice laced with heavy metals, to name just a few.
The problems are numerous but the chief root of the problem is, I believe, the punishment for doing wrong is not enough to deter the wrong doers from continuing to do wrong. It would be one matter if you received a warning from your first infraction and increasingly greater fines and then ultimately jail time for subsequent infractions but the article seems to intone that the perpetrators can always expect to get a slap on the wrist. The FDA, for example, has the ability now to detain and prevent a food from being sold if it believes that it possibly presents a health threat. Even when one company labeled its veal as all natural and it turned out that it really was not — two million dollar fine.
If perpetrators of food crimes were punished appropriately around the world it would be a benefit for the people of the respective countries. It is absolutely unacceptable for the people of a country to fear eating, not knowing what could be toxic and what could be safe to eat.
Brilliant article, Gordon! Our food supply must be protected. The risk to our health is too great. China is now finding out the hard way how a loss of faith in government can be terrifying and trembling.
Thanks, David. It’s so true. It’s too bad that too often, a quick buck is more important than public health