“Organic” Foods From China? Buyer Beware!
I’m not a ramen noodle fan. Empty calories and little taste beyond the MSG. Just my biased gastronomic opinion. But as I pushed my cart down the aisle at Costco, the aroma wafting from the sample table did indeed tempt my olfactories and my growling stomach. To my surprise, the steaming contents of the paper cup offered by the cheerful, grandmotherly matron turned out to be… delicious. And the brown rice noodles were “organic” to boot, certified as such by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Says so prominently, right there on the label.
Not that ramen would be likely to become a staple in our household diet, but it might be handy to have as easy-to-make quick meal during busy times, or a half-meal serving during Lent. So I picked up a six-serving package for $8.99. However, while unpacking the groceries at home, I did what I should have done (but was too hurried to do) at the store: I read the label. In rather small print came the fatal words: “Product of China.” Big oops! Communist China’s takeovers of our tool, electronics, clothing, and other consumer markets are alarming enough, but Beijing’s huge inroads into our food sector over the past two decades is beyond scary.
Nearly a decade ago, in September 2007, The New American published Michael Telzrow’s “New Chinese Take-Out: Tainted, Poisoned Exports,” which detailed the frightening extent to which China had already succeeded in penetrating — and even dominating — our internal consumables: foods, beverages, vitamins, pharmaceuticals. It’s gotten markedly worse in the years since, thanks to both Democrats and Republicans — in the White House and in Congress — who have caved in and/or sold out to the China Lobby. It’s not just melamine in pet food, diethylene glycol — a highly toxic solvent — in cough syrup and toothpaste, and lead paint on children’s toys. After those and other “Made In China” food scandals made it through a few news cycles, the issue was largely swept under the rug by the establishment press. Instead of heeding these canary-in-the-coalmine warnings, government officials and business leaders opened the floodgates even further so China could accelerate its conquest of the American food market.
In June 2011, Food & Water Watch, a non-profit consumer watchdog group, published an eye-opening report entitled “A Decade of Dangerous Food Imports China.” Among other things, this important monograph tabulated from U.S. government records the alarming year-by-year increases in China’s food exports to the United States: apple juice, mushrooms, garlic, cauliflower, asparagus, broccoli, pears, apples, cherries, strawberries, catfish, salmon, tilapia, cod, sardines, shrimp, clams, crab, honey, spices, tea, nuts, onions, vegetable oils, soy sauce, and much more.
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