Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Broken Promise

I promised myself when I finally decided to start a blog that I would keep it positive and uplifting. I didn't want it to be a personal forum for pity parties, politics or controversy. I have to make the exception now. I believe it's a responsibility to speak out when you know that something is terribly wrong and dangerous to the American people.

I'm speaking of products imported from China. It's no secret that foods have been banned in the past. Food made in China has poisoned and killed our dogs, seafood was banned because it contained dangerous cancer causing chemicals and antibiotics, toys made in China were a threat to our children as they contained lead based paints. I think we all know that China does not uphold the standards that we do when it comes to product safety, yet more and more products every day are being imported and consumed by us. From CNN.com -The amount of food imported from China has grown dramatically in the past decade. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the United States imported $4.1 billion worth of seafood and agricultural products from China in 2006. In 1995, it was $800 million.

This hit home to me a few months ago while shopping in our local Hannfords. How shocking it was to me to see a sign posted over the broccoli saying 'Product of China'. I spoke to the young man in the produce department and asked if there was a way to register a strong complaint about it and he referred me to the suggestion box. I did in fact register a complaint for all the good it might do. (They still sell broccoli from China) There is strength in numbers and we all need to educate ourselves to the seriousness of this situation. If we allow a simple thing like broccoli to become acceptable then more and more produce and other real foods from China will be contaminating our country. I would like to believe that any and all of you would also lodge a complaint and refuse to buy products from China.

Perhaps the following information from CNN.com would be more persuasive:

  • 60% of all recalled products in the USA are from China
  • 5 types of fish are banned from China for the cancer causing chemicals and antibiotics including malachite green which helps fish survive in polluted fisheries.
  • A deadly toxin was found in cough medicine made in China
  • Pigs in China are force fed waste water to fatten them for market
  • Dairy cows are fed so many antibiotics they can't produce yogurt from their milk
  • Lard from China made from sewage
  • Diethylene glycol, a solvent found in antifreeze was being used in toothpaste made in China
  • Formaldehyde, illegal dyes and industrial wax were being added to candy, pickles, crackers and seafood
  • Etc .. etc.. etc

Zhou Qin, a dissident writer who has researched China's food standards said he believes the situation is much worse than anyone realizes.

Farmers and producers, he said, are continually finding new and dangerous ways to cut costs. He cited the example of a farmer in the south who he said deliberately added a cancer-causing chemical to pigs because it made the flesh look better and less fatty. When he challenged the farmer about the potential health dangers, Qin said he replied, "People in the city get free health care."

"The threat is so much more serious than people could ever imagine," Qin said. "China has low labor costs, but you can work out how low the price should be. Businessmen should know something is wrong if the product is cheaper than it should be."



The following are among the top food products from China brought into the United States:

• Apple juice

• Mandarin oranges

• Confections/candy

• Dried garlic

• Cocoa butter

• Hog guts, bladders, stomachs for sausage casings

• Dry berries

How disconcerting to know that prepared foods are required to list the ingredients in their product, but they're not required to tell you where they got those ingredients.

I believe it's time, even during this difficult economic time, to remember the pride of the 'Made in USA' label, to be willing to pay for quality rather than quantity, knowing that quality is according to USA standards. Perhaps American companies will think twice about outsourcing to save money on labor if we refuse to buy their products... especially from CHINA.

I apologize for not bringing you something uplifting or creative today. It was time... and is time.... to make a difference.

Best...

Canace

6 comments:

fromthepines said...

Canace,

Well said. I just finished the book " A year without made in china" where a woman decides to not purchase anything from there for a year. It doesn't have to be made in usa but just not China. It is very enlightening how difficult it was for her! Just to buy shoes even. She had to buy 68 dollar italian sneakers for her 4 yr old. After that, I checked all my shoes, and what do ya know, all made in china!
We don't realize how much is coming from there and not to mention the fact that the jobs they are also replacing.
I am from Canada but we are in the same boat. I want to take a challenge to get local as much as I can and hopefully others do too.

Cheyl

jbaskarts said...

Thanks for the awareness bff. I will be lodging a complaint at Hannafords about the broccoli from china and any other stores that have the same practices. I believe in the ripple effect...If we all take the time and raise our voices, and stop buying foods and such from China, then true change will occur. One by one!!!
xo

TheresainMS said...

I had no idea the imports from China were that high. I will do my best to look at the origin of my purchases and strive to buy domestic when possible. Thank you for posting this; a majority starts with 1 :-)

pamelahuntington said...

Yikes... !!!!

pamelahuntington said...

And just a follow up - I buy as much as I can
from Local farms - we NEED to support our
farmers..as I see them disappear before my eyes
I am saddened and concerned about the availablity
of fresh food, eggs and etc!!!

Canace said...

Yes Pam... we NEED to and I think if we continue to increase awareness then others will follow suit. I certainly hope so. As Theresa said... A majority starts with 1.

Feel free to link to this post so others will read it too and so on...

Thanks!