01/20/2017 / By JD Heyes
The Chinese government has said in recent weeks it is attempting to clean up the country, so to speak, and that’s laudable, given the country’s awful history of polluting itself and the world.
Rocked by a series of food safety scandals, Chinese regulators are moving to ward off new ones by rooting out violations. In fact, as Reuters reports, during the first nine months of 2016, regulators uncovered an astonishing 500,000 violations, one official said.
Over the past few years, the government has been forced to deal with several food scandals, including rice that was contaminated with heavy metals, the use of recycled “gutter oil” in restaurants, and the sale of tainted baby formula that contained deadly amounts of melamine, an industrial chemical, in 2008.
Bi Jingquan, who heads up the China Food and Drug Administration, told the Standing Committee of National People’s Congress in recent days that though there has been major progress made in cleaning up the food sector, there are obvious and “deep-seated” problems remaining.
According to Bi’s report, which was published on the official website of the National People’s Congress, Reuters reported, food safety agencies throughout the Chinese government have conducted in excess of 15 million individual inspections over the course of the first nine months of 2016, having found more than a half-million violations and incidents of illegal conduct.
Included among the offenses were false advertising, use of phony ingredients and products, and the sale of foods that were contaminated with one or more toxins.
In one case in the eastern province of Jilin, Reuters noted, the use of industrial gelatin in food was discovered, while a number of cases in the southwestern province of Guizhou involved the use of fake or low-quality salt.
As Natural News has reported, China’s food safety issues are legion, in large part because the country’s air, soil and water are so polluted, thanks to heavy industrial output with little oversight or thought of the consequences.
For example, foods contaminated with heavy metals and other toxins are being shipped to the United States and elsewhere under the false moniker of “organic.” Natural Health 365 reported as well that many shipments of food from China to the U.S. (which should not be happening on a large scale anyway, given our agricultural production capacity) have to be turned away because they are unsafe—due either to additives, mislabeling, drug residues or general filth, or a combination of those.
In a separate report, Natural Health 365 noted that the “reality” is, farmers throughout the country use water full of heavy metals, organic and inorganic contaminants and pollutants, and nitrogen to irrigate their crops. This makes even so-called ‘organic’ food so unsafe that touching it could make you sick, let along consuming it.
“This is reality – all of China’s grains, vegetables and fruits are irrigated with untreated industrial wastewater. The Yellow River, which is considered unusable, supports major food producing areas in the northeast provinces,” the report stated.
In fact, “many farmers will not even eat what they harvest and it has become abundantly clear – China’s water safety issues have threatened their entire food supply.”
And the problem isn’t going to get any better anytime soon. Chinese farmers say all they have access to is dirty water for growing crops. China is the world’s biggest producer and consumer of fertilizers and pesticides, states China’s Journal of Arid Land, which was cited by Natural Health 365.
Couple this with the fact that, simultaneously, gigantic pig and poultry farms are rapidly developing to fulfill the population’s demand for meat. All of this industrial food production dumps massive amounts of livestock waste into the water supply as well.
Animals produce some 90 percent of all organic pollutants and about half of the nitrogen in China’s water supply, say experts at the Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning. At times, there are so many pollutants in bodies of water they turn black—yet crops that survive such contaminants are nonetheless harvested and shipped to markets domestically and around the world.