China is a major player supplying its food to North America and the rest of the world. The non-profit organization Food & Water Watch states that in 2009 alone, 70 percent of the apple juice consumed in the United States came from China. But in recent years, scandals of tainted food making their way into grocery store shelves is difficult to ignore.
“The way it is manufactured, they don’t have the same laws and regulatory systems that we do in the U.S. Inherently, yeah, imported food manufactured overseas is probably riskier, ” said Dan Solis, the FDA Director of Import Operations in Los Angeles.
On December 18, 2016, Bi Jingquan, the head of the China Food and Drug Administration, spoke to the Standing Committee of National People’s Congress. Jingquan explained that despite the progress made, the food sector still has “deed-seated” problems. In his report, Jingquan said the food safety department conducted 15 million inspections within the first nine months of 2016, finding 500,000 illegal behavior incidents.
#1. Apple juice
In 2011, Dr. Mehmet Oz drew criticism when he revealed independent studies had shown high levels of arsenic in popular apple juice brands. Since there is organic arsenic present in fruits and vegetables, Oz’s report was deemed highly irresponsible. A few months later, Consumer Reports published their own results which showed 10 percent of apple juices sampled exceeded arsenic levels equivalent to drinking-water standards. The arsenic found was not organic but the toxic, dangerous kind.
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#2. Industrial salt
China is the biggest manufacturer of salt in the world. Studies show that of the 90 million produced annually, 91 percent is non-edible as it is mixed with heavy metals and other substances.
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#3. Cod Fish
Fish farmers in China have reportedly “mislabeled” cod fish for a similar looking species.
The US Department of Agriculture allowed in 2013 the sale of chicken from China. “Recently, employees of the U.S.-based meat processing company OSI, which operates plants in the PRC, were charged with selling adulterated poultry meat to Chinese restaurants, including KFC and McDonald’s,” Wenonah Hunter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, warned. “And let’s not forget the hundreds of dogs that have died from eating poultry jerky treats imported from the PRC.”
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China is responsible for importing 31 percent of the garlic consumed in the United States last year. Unfortunately, garlic is sprayed with pesticides containing methyl bromide. This compound is also used in killing rodents.