When we think of Chinese food in the West, we usually picture boxes of delicious takeout that are perfect for a mid-movie marathon feeding frenzy, and even better for breakfast the next day. Sure, over-consumption might lead to intense MSG-related headaches and general feelings of bloatedness and guilt, but in general we don’t really think of Chinese food as something that’s likely to kill us. But then again, maybe it’s because we don’t import tons of frozen foodstuffs from China like they do in Japan, where fear of Chinese-produced food is an ever-present topic that regularly pops up to scare the beejeezus out of people and ruin their enjoyment of chicken nuggets forever.
But is there anything to fear, or have people just got their knickers in a twist over nothing? Well, a shocking new report claims that up to 48 percent of ALL the food China produces for export contains stuff that’s almost guaranteed to make you sick. Yikes.
According to news reports, a food standards testing company called Asia Inspection carried out a large-scale investigation into Chinese food factories and workshops, with testing conducted at thousands of sites. The results of the investigation claim that 48 percent of all sites tested produce foodstuffs that contain a variety of nasties highly likely to have a detrimental effect on human health. The reports turned up unacceptable amounts of agricultural chemicals including herbicides and pesticides, as well as trace amounts of antibiotics and industrial heavy metals. Bacteria and viruses were also detected. Filthy conditions in the factories were cited as a likely cause of the contamination, along with shoddy packaging and improper food handling procedures.
▼ Personally, we prefer our spam without the salmonella.
Perhaps these reports aren’t too surprising, though – after all, they’re just the latest in a long string of similar such incidents, including contaminated baby formula, poison pet food, and rat meat being served as lamb. A browse through the “food safety incidents in China” page on Wikipedia lists such grotesqueries as “sewage tofu”, “human hair soy sauce”, “goat urine duck meat”, and “gutter oil”.
With the damning report coming so soon after the tainted chicken scandal that has really messed things up for McDonald’s Japan, we’re betting that more and more people in Japan will start to boycott everything Chinese-made – if the handy switch to the “Made in PRC” labels doesn’t manage to fool ‘em first, that is…