Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Trading Global Parasites

You can see that I have a contamination bug obsession this month... That is because I care about my health. We are what we eat. I was wondering how inconvenient it might be for people all over the planet to be sharing their regional parasites through unregulated global trade. Maybe supermarket checkouts will soon be giving away herbal parasite capsules? An alternative to free disease protection condoms. I already ordered my colon cleanse anti-parasite herbs and my baby food style vegetarian instestinal cleanser. Next month I will add the toxin-out to detox the liver (I don't want to do it all at once). You may want to watch the Agri-food corp fun video about modern farming methods: The Meatrix

Food boom brings unpalatable truths
China's huge food export market could be making the world sick, write Ariana Eunjung Cha in Shanghai and Kelly Burke. Tainted ingredients that originated in China made their way into pet food that has sickened and killed animals around the world, with nearly 4000 deaths reported in the US. With China playing an ever-larger role in supplying food, medicine and animal feed to other countries, recognition of the hazards has not kept up.

By value, China is the world's No.1 exporter of fruits and vegetables, and a major exporter of other food products ranging from apple juice to garlic and sausage casings. Its agricultural exports to the US surged to $US2.26 billion last year - nearly 20 times the $US133 million of 1980. China's food exports to Australia were worth $450 million in 2006, up from $345 million the previous year, and dominated by prawns, cereal, fruit juice and vegetables.

China has been especially poor at meeting international standards. The US subjects only a small fraction of its food imports to close inspection, but each month rejects about 200 shipments from China, mostly due to concerns about pesticides, antibiotics and misleading labelling. In February, border inspectors for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) blocked peas tainted by pesticides, dried plums containing banned additives, pepper contaminated with salmonella and frozen crayfish that were filthy.

Since 2000, some countries have temporarily banned whole categories of Chinese imports. The European Union stopped prawn shipments because of banned antibiotics. Japan blocked tea and spinach, citing excessive antibiotic residue. And South Korea banned fermented cabbage after finding parasites.

As globalisation of the food supply progresses, "the food gets more anonymous and gradually you get into a situation where you don't know where exactly it came from and you get more vulnerable to poor quality", said Michiel Keyzer, director of the Centre for World Food Studies at Vrije University in Amsterdam. Sydney Morning Herald

Parasite Eggs Found Again in Kimchi From China
Health officials have again discovered parasite eggs in some Chinese-made kimchi products, escalating public concerns about the health risks of food imports. The Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) said Thursday that it has found parasite eggs in 15 samples of 82 Chinese kimchi products stored in warehouses. Kimchi is a spicy fermented cabbage and radish that is the main side dish of most Korean meals.

Quarantine officials have conducted inspections on a total of 82 Chinese kimchi products (227.6 tons) stored in warehouses after customs clearance since the food regulator found three species of parasite eggs in nine samples of the 18 Chinese kimchi products sold in Internet shopping malls last Friday. The KFDA already recalled all of the inventory of the 15 products.

Chinese farmers often use human excrement as fertilizers when growing cabbages for kimchi. There is a possibility that the parasites could invade the cabbages through that channel. The recent food scandals reveal the problems of Korea's public quarantine system as it came just a month after authorities banned the sale of some Chinese-made kimchi after they found a significantly high lead content in it.

In July, the KFDA also banned the sale of imported Chinese eels and other fish products after finding they were contaminated with malachite green, a cancer-causing substance. Following the scandals over the Chinese food imports, the Korean government plans to hold a high-level meeting with China to prevent tension caused by contaminated kimchi from damaging the two countries’ overall trade relations.

According to a November report by the Asian Development Bank, food-borne disease affects 300 million Chinese per year... On Feb. 5, the Chinese government released a list of 10 of last year's most egregious food-safety cases—everything from selling homemade beer in brand-name bottles to making edible gelatin from OLD LEATHER. The top spot went to a firm in Jiangsu province busted for adulterating its nationally sold nutritional supplement, supposedly made from silkworm chrysalis. The real ingredients? Dried pig's blood and chicken feathers.

On Feb. 6, Chinese health officials ordered six kinds of lipstick from two Shantou-based companies—including a strawberry-flavored variety—pulled from stores after they were found to contain SUDAN RED, an industrial dye known to cause cancer in lab animals. The dye, used to color petrol and floor polish, has also shown up in some Chinese chili powders and eggs.

Tests by environmental group Greenpeace recently detected residue from banned PESTICIDES such as DDT in 4 out of 5 mainland-grown tangerines, strawberries and green vegetables bought in Hong Kong produce markets. One tangerine tested positive for 13 different pesticides.

Illegal experimental GE rice from China: entering Europe's food chain