Untainted meat leaks onto Chinese supermarket shelves

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By Nan Che
Food and Drink Correspondent

Most Chinese prefer to order their tainted meat in bulk, out of the back of a lukewarm station wagon

SHANGHAI (China Daily Show) – Pork that doesn’t taste like beef, milk that doesn’t make you grow breasts and non-lethal steamed buns – such things are unusual, even anathema, to many Chinese food shoppers.

So it came as a shock to housewife Zheng Wen, 37, when she recently purchased a batch of minced pork that was apparently unadulterated with chemicals, unnecessary toxic additives or carcinogens.

Zheng suspected nothing when she bought the pork at her local supermarket. Most Chinese supermarket trolleys are equipped with Geiger counters to reassure customers of their products’ toxicity.

“But when I brought the meat home, I put it in the kitchen and turned the lights off. I was shocked when it didn’t then light up like a souvenir from Chernobyl,” a shaken Zheng told China Daily Show.

“At that moment, I knew something was wrong.”

Supermarket bosses have since apologized and offered to replace the purchase with a year’s supply of unspecified meat product from Hunan, believed to be platypus.

Meanwhile, experts have reassured Zheng – and the greater public – that her pork was the exception, rather than the norm.

“China’s food industry is buck-passing around the clock to ensure that every foodstuff meets minimum safety requirements,” said Professor Fu Bao,  a supply chain management expert at Beijing Normal University.

“From money-hungry slaughterhouses to corrupt regulators, complacent local governments to apathetic outlets, every possible effort is made to ensure goods achieve maximum profit with minimum regard to our fellow countrymen’s health.

“Occasionally, though, standards may unintentionally rise when something slips through the net,” Fu admitted, with a weary smile. “Alas, there’s always one good apple.”

For Zheng, however, the damage was already done. “From now on, I’m buying my products from somewhere I can trust: Russia.”

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  • Redrogers

    On a serious note:

    “In 1906… Upton Sinclair published “The Jungle,” a novel that vividly described conditions in the meat-packing plants of Chicago. As Stewart Macaulay and other noted in “Law and Society: Readings on the Social Study of Law” (1985), President Theodore Roosevelt used the book to push Congress to pass legislation that led to the creation of the FDA.

    “The history of the FDA suggests that public concern and outrage can influence government action to increase regulation of an industry that is injuring or killing consumers.”

    (From: http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2011/03/16/jungle-of-problems-beijings-failure-to-protect-consumers/)

    The question is not so much, where is China’s Upton Sinclair but what would happen if he existed? He’d perhaps be published, maybe side-lined, likely censored or in some way harassed, beaten or jailed by authorities. China’s current authoritarian structure means the corrupt is protected, $$$ rule and whistle-blowers are always punished. it can never rise above the US in anything other than GDP. With no separation of power, each sector conspires to protect the other and stifles the whole

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  • Honestyprevails

    Is it the intention of chinadailyshow to attempt to diffuse the issues by parody/mockery?

    The subject is serious. People are being tricked, or told that “tainted” means anything from sunlight to plutonium, but offer no means of verifying safety to the public. This is no joking matter.

    Sit the government down to dinner with their glowing fake-beef and watch what happens.

  • Untainted meat leaks onto Chinese supermarket shelves: http://t.co/bRWtHgz (@chinadailyshow)