Friday, October 3, 2008
More Madness in China
Have you heard about this? The Chinese company Sanlu Group has been putting Melamine, a white crystalline chemical used to make plastics, in its milk powder. It has shipped products with this in it all over the worldt. Over 53,000 children under the age of three have fallen sick in China, 4 are dead, and 14,000 hospitalized from Kidney failure. Many candies, baby food, and chocolates are contaminated including Cadbury chocolates and the popular White Rabbit candies that are readily available all over Chinatown. It is so bad the European Union has banned importing all Chinese food products for children. But here's the fucked up thing: Sanlu Group did it on purpose and once the government knew about the poisonings- they covered it up.
It started because the communist government, in order to control them, would not let Sanlu sell their products at a competitive market price. Under pressure from their superiors, the Sanlu food scientists started adding Melamine to watered-down milk because its high nitrogen content masks the resulting protein deficiency. In March they knew their products were making people sick and instead of recalling the food, they made a much publicized donation of 1.5 million dollars of poisoned baby formula to victims of the massive Sichuan Province earthquake!! Evil! Then the government got involved. Up until September, when the recall was announced, the food continued to be made and anyone speaking up against it, often times hospital workers or human rights workers, lost there jobs or were arrested. When lawyers tried to help victims of the poisoning, they were threatened by the State and were told not to help or their licences would be revoked. The Chinese Central Propaganda Department issued a statement saying that no one was allowed to print anything about food safety without their permission. That is how they deal with problems of this magnitude- through oppression and denial.
There is a great blog that has been championing this issue called the Haphazard Gourmet Girls. They monitor what they call the Chowpocalypse. There are a lot of good articles on the site, the one about the evils of Whole Foods is particularly eye-opening. Apparently Whole Foods works with some really fucked up meat companies, are anti-union, and their CEO is a megalomaniac.
I can't help but marvel at the disregard for human life these animal exploiting corporations have.