Saturday, June 02, 2007

Pesticide Contamination of Chinese Panax Ginseng

I tried really hard not to find this information... and I knew it already. With the polluted and contaminated food coming out of China it was obvious that the Ginseng would be contaminated with pesticides. Now I feel sick. I have to think how I am going to avoid buying products from China. Climate change is nothing compared to the toxins and filth exported around the world labled as 'food'. Europe just seems to open its doors and let it all in, and the American FDA are catching 1% of what is flooding into the U.S.

Now I have read something so horrible. I mean this is sick. How can I ever drink green tea again? The Chinese put the leaves of herbal tea plants on the floor and they drive trucks over them to dry them faster for export. Don't tell me this poisoning of the food is not deliberate when you read stuff like that, and worse. Is Organic safe? Reports say the food certificates are being faked. I have to rethink where I will get my tea!

In the past year, the FDA rejected more than twice as many food shipments from China as from all other countries combined. The rejected shipments make an unappetizing list. Inspectors commonly block Chinese food imports because they're "filthy." That's the official term. "They might smell decomposition. They might see gross contamination of the food. 'Filthy' is a broad term for a product that is not fit for human consumption," Hubbard says.

Sunrider (Guangzhon) Ltd.
Guangzhou , CN

Qinghai Xinkai Industry .Co.Ltd
Qinghai , CN

When Hubbard was at the FDA, he heard all kinds of stories about foreign food processors, like the one a staffer told him after visiting a Chinese factory that makes herbal tea.

"To speed up the drying process, they would lay the tea leaves out on a huge warehouse floor and drive trucks over them so that the exhaust would more rapidly dry the leaves out," Hubbard says. "And the problem there is that the Chinese use leaded gasoline, so they were essentially spewing the lead over all these leaves."

That lead-contaminated herbal tea would only be caught by FDA inspectors at the border if they knew to look for it, Hubbard says.

China has become the leading supplier of many food ingredients, such as apple juice, a primary sweetener in many foods; garlic and garlic powder, a major flavor agent; sausage casings and cocoa butter.

China now supplies 80 percent of the world's ascorbic acid — vitamin C. It's used as a preservative and nutritional enriching agent in thousands of foods. One-third of the world's vitamin A now comes from China, along with much of the supply of vitamin B-12 and many health-food supplements, such as the amino acid lysine.

European Drug Companies Gray Market
Drug makers are looking to ban repackaging of drugs by European middlemen, who buy medicines in low-cost countries, put them in new containers and resell the goods in high-price markets. The move would be the latest by Big Pharma to squelch so-called “parallel trade” in which arbitrageurs legally take advantage of price discrepancies in the Europe Union, the Financial Times reports. Middlemen in the EU take advantage of price differences throughout the continent, buying drugs where they're cheapest, repackaging them, and then selling them in countries where prices are higher. Healthblog

The poisoned food imports are just pouring out of China:
Tainted Products Continue to Flow out of China. Just as Canadian and U.S. health officials were scrambling to find out which brands of Chinese-made toothpaste had entered their countries, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced last Friday that it has intercepted a shipment of corn gluten from China contaminated with melamine and cyanuric acid.

This is a very good and lengthy report from 'the truth about trade', about the illegal trade routes used by China to bypass checks and controls:

Why Some China Exports Are Taking Illegal Detours
Brussels - When Cambodia suddenly started exporting hundreds of tons of garlic to the European Union a few years ago, Jürgen Marke, a computer analyst at Europe's Olaf antifraud office, smelled a problem.

Earlier this month, investigators wrapped up a lengthy probe based on his hunch. The garlic turned out to be Chinese, routed through Cambodia to hide its origin and avoid high EU tariffs and strict quotas.

Mr. Marke's data-crunching in his small office in Brussels puts him on the front line of a growing battle to stop so-called trans-shipment of Chinese goods to the rich markets of Europe and the U.S. At stake are hundreds of millions of dollars in lost customs duties, as well as jobs in domestic industries -- from shoes to food -- under threat from low-cost competition from Asia.

Rerouting goods to avoid tariffs isn't new or unique to Chinese exporters. But in recent years the U.S. and the EU have imposed increasing numbers of quotas and punitive tariffs to combat alleged Chinese "dumping" -- the export of goods below cost to secure market share -- as well as some bans for safety reasons. That appears to be fueling efforts to get around the rules; EU officials, for instance, say they have detected evidence of trans-shipment for 90% of the 91 products subject to the bloc's antidumping tariffs.

Customs agents in the U.S. and the EU have discovered trans-shipment rings selling everything from shoes to cigarette lighters to energy-saving light bulbs lately. Their newest worry is over one of the West's most protected and politically sensitive sectors: food. Last year, EU countries reported 84 instances of food trans-shipped from China, up from 50 the year before, including duck, chicken, beef and milk. Although only a small percentage of China's $969 billion in exports, food is a big growth area as Chinese agriculture modernizes.

The recent revelation that tainted wheat flour from China entered pet food in the U.S. has helped fuel these concerns. EU and U.S. customs agents worry that trans-shipped goods could allow unsafe or contaminated foods to leak into food chains. "You're increasing the risk if you're not sure where the food is coming from," Mr. Marke says.

I can no longer take my Ginseng capsules, because they are contaminated with pesticides, fungus and bacteria (Results indicated that 100% of the Siberian ginseng samples were contaminated with fungi and bacteria). I cannot neutralise the fungus with vitamin C because it comes from China and I have no idea what else is in there, and I cannot stay healthy with my green tea, because trucks have run over it before it was imported... I think there is a lot worse to come. I need to start growing my own food.