Archive for the ‘bacteria’ Category

China issues blanket recall on dairy; Hong Kong toddler sick

October 14, 2008

(AP) China’s store shelves are being cleared of all milk and milk powder more than a month old, a huge recall that marks the latest government effort to restore consumer confidence after four babies died from drinking milk tainted with an industrial chemical.

A Chinese lab technician collects milk products suspected of ... 
A Chinese lab technician collects milk products suspected of being tainted for testing at a laboratory in Wuhan, central China in late September. China’s largest soft drinks maker, Wahaha, has said it is interested in buying the dairy company.(AFP/File)

In Hong Kong, authorities announced that another child has developed kidney stones after consuming contaminated products, bringing to eight the number of children in the territory sickened by Chinese dairy products.

All of mainland China’s milk powder and liquid milk produced before Sept. 14 was ordered pulled off the shelves to be tested by manufacturers, the official Xinhua news agency said.

“Regardless of the brand or the batch, they must be taken off shelves, their sale must be stopped,” Xinhua said, citing a notice issued by six government ministries and administrations.

It was the first time the government has issued a blanket recall of products since the tainted milk scandal began.

Yi Yongsheng holds his daughter Yi Xuan, right, as he speaks ...
Yi Yongsheng holds his daughter Yi Xuan, right, as he speaks about the death of his infant son, at their Xinxing home in China’s northern Gansu province, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008. The death of Yi’s son from kidney failure was one of four China’s government has reported so far in a tainted milk scandal. Thousands of children were sickened after eating milk powder laced with the industrial chemical melamine.(AP Photo/Greg Baker)

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China Re-Issues Milk Product Recall In Effort To Say All Poison Food is Gone

October 14, 2008

BEIJING — The Chinese government ordered a recall on Tuesday of all milk products produced before Sept. 14 still on the shelves so the products can be tested for the toxic

chemical melamine.
File photo shows a woman feeding a baby on the outskirts of ... 
A woman feeds a baby on the outskirts of Yangon, Myanmar. Authorities said Tuesday they had removed seven imported dairy products from store shelves — one of them from China — after they were found to contain traces of melamine.(AFP/File/Khin Maung Win)
Melamine, a substance illicitly added to watered-down milk to artificially boost its protein count, has led to the deaths of at least three babies; at least 53,000 other children have fallen ill. Those statistics are weeks old, though, and the government has yet to release updated numbers, which are believed to be much higher.
The government announced limits for allowable traces of melamine last week. If the recalled products meet the new standards, they will be put back on the market, the government said. Dairy products thought to have a real risk of melamine contamination were already recalled weeks ago, right after the milk crisis first emerged. The recall announced Tuesday was an effort by the government to show the public that it was enforcing its new trace melamine limits.

Meanwhile, a lawyer based in Shanghai has filed a lawsuit in Gansu Province on behalf of a family whose 6-month-old son, Yi Kaixuan, died in May after drinking tainted baby formula. A handful of lawsuits have been filed on behalf of parents whose children have died or fallen ill from drinking tainted dairy products, but so far no court has accepted a case.

Separately, the Ministry of Health and the State Food and Drug Administration also announced Thursday that the brand of herbal drug suspected of killing three people recently was “tainted with bacteria,” Xinhua, the state news agency, reported. The drug, Siberian ginseng or ciwujia, was made by Wandashan Pharmaceutical, based in northeastern China.



Bacteria Filled Chopsticks Found in New China Scare

August 22, 2007

BEIJING (Reuters) – A Beijing factory recycled used chopsticks and sold up to 100,000 pairs a day without any form of disinfection, a newspaper said on Wednesday, the latest in a string of Chinese food and product safety scares.

Counterfeit, shoddy and dangerous products are widespread in China, whose exports have been rocked in recent months by a spate of safety scandals, ranging from pet food to medicine, tires, toothpaste and toys.

China turns safety drive to dirty restaurants

August 10, 2007

BEIJING (Reuters) – China will crack down on dirty restaurants, the government announced on Friday as it seeks to combat lax food safety and prepare for wary visitors during Beijing‘s 2008 Olympics.

China has been shaken by a wave of safety scares over products ranging from toys to toothpaste and foods laced with toxins, bacteria and dangerous additives.

The government has fought back through a torrent of news briefings, new rules and promises of increased spending.

Regulations ….

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Tricky Vietnamese Truth About Catfish

July 9, 2007

In light of all the discussion on tainted seafood from China, we thought we might republish this saga on the “Catfish War” between the U.S. and Vietnam.  The Chinese are just as clever as the Vietnamese, of course.   Like Vietnam, China feeds its pond raised seafood some interesting subtances like feces.  And we wonder why the fish has bacteria in it….. But there is more to this story.  Sometimes we Americans knowingly or unwittingly move our suppliers in a dangerous direction….

By John E. Carey
First Published: March 2, 2007

After normalization of bilateral relations between Vietnam and the United States in 1995, an American technical mission visited Vietnam to look for opportunities to promote trade and investment.

The delegation identified catfish as an ideal commodity to harvest from the Mekong delta, saying that strong fresh water flows would improve the quality of the catch over fish raised in stagnant ponds.

Once Vietnam got good at catfish farming and exports to the United States soared, the United States argued that catfish raised in flowing waters posed hygiene problems and Congress even passed a law declaring that there is no catfish in Vietnam.

Even so, the Commerce Department slapped an import duty onto the non-existing catfish from Vietnam.By 2003, the situation was widely being called the  “Catfish War.”

And Vietnam was losing.

The U.S. worked to stop imported catfish from Vietnam from reaching the American dinner table.

Many southern U.S. states like Louisiana make a lot of money raising catfish.

“It’s totally unfair and does not reflect the objective fact,” said Phan Thuy Thanh, spokeswoman for Vietnam’s foreign minister. “The application of unfair protective barriers to Vietnam’s tra and basa catfish exports to the US over the protest of public opinion – including American opinion – shows the increasing tendency to protect domestic production in the United States.”

By May 2006, the Department of Commerce ruled that the penal tax on giant tra and basa catfish exporter, Vinh Hoan Company, would be cut sharply to 6.81 percent from an earlier 36.84 percent.

But for another company, Cataco, it had increased the tax to a whopping 80.88 percent from 45.81 percent but had offered no explanations.

Ngo Phuoc Hau, chairman of the Mekong Fresh Fish Committee, said local exporters ignored the DOC’s actions since their products were in demand in the EU, Middles East, Russia, and Asia.

Admittedly, it was the US anti-dumping action which forced the Vietnamese businesses to explore other markets and diversify into exporting fresh fillet products and value-added products which fetch higher profits.

Catfish orders worth more than US$100 million poured in from the EU and other markets at the end of last year, a rise of 75 percent year-on-year. But here is the tricky and funny part. Some genius thought it would be a good idea to have a taste competition and let catfish eaters tell us who has the best catfish: America or Vietnam.

The Vietnamese won!

Later a Vietnamese told me: “We cheat on that a little.”

The pond catfish in Vietnam have a very poor diet, feeding on the bottom where there is lots of, lets say, filth. The Vietnamese raised the fish in this system until two months from harvest. This saved a lot of money.

So every pond farmer was allowed to submit ideas on how to improve the taste of the catfish and dozens of ideas were tried.

Here’s the winner: with two months to go before harvesting, they scooped the fish out of a smelly pond and put them in the cleanest water they had with the most nutritious diet. This “washed” the catfish, my friend said. Only two months of the process was expensive and after that last two months the fish tasted great!

My friend said, “Big cultural difference in how two countries appoached the problem.  Americans get too scientific and too honest.  We try things until we make the fish the best! Everyone participate.”

I call this the “The Asian Group Dynamic.”

John E. Carey is a frequent contributor to The Washington Times.

This essay was also posted on “Media for Freedom” by our dear freind Kamala.

“Media for Freedom” main:

China not sole food-safety offender

After we first published the Vietnam Catfish story, we heard from several former prisoners of the Communist regime.  They told us they were marched twice each day (once in the morning and once in the evening) do “do their business” above a river or pond.  When the daily routine started the catfish would be teeming in the river to get “food.”

China may need a fresh approach to regulating its often unruly economy

July 8, 2007

By Joseph Kahn
International Herald Tribune
July 8, 2007

BEIJING: Phony fertilizer destroys crops. Store shelves are filled with deodorized rotten eggs, and chemical glucose is passed off as honey. Exports slump when European regulators find dangerous bacteria in packaged meat.

More product safety scandals in China? Not this time. These quality problems prompted a sluggish U.S. government to tighten food and drug regulation 101 years ago, when President Theodore Roosevelt signed the act that created the Food and Drug Administration.

Like America’s industrializing economy of a century ago, China’s is powered by zealous entrepreneurs who sometimes act like pirates. In both cases there were epidemics of fatal fakes, and regulators too inept, corrupt or hamstrung to do much about it.

Read the rest at:

China Planning a Surreal Facade for Summer Olympic Games: Beijing 2008

July 7, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
July 9, 2007

Few could have anticipated the run of bad publicity, crises and scandals that China has weathered since about last winter or spring.

First, pets in America became sick and many died. The illness was traced to Chinese-made pet food laced with a fertilizer component named melamine. Companies in China had illegally added melamine to wheat gluten and rice protein in a bid to meet the contractual demand for the amount of protein in the pet food products.

After that, the Food and Drug Administration in the United States began to take a harder look at a host of Chinese products imported into the U.S.

The FDA ended up barring most seafood from China (where we in the U.S. get about 1/3 of our shrimp, much of our catfish and other “farm raised” seafood products) because much of it contained drugs, bacteria or other suspicious or obviously harmful products.

Not only was imported seafood tainted, but the FDA began turning away tons of other food products – some of it contaminated, some filled with toxins and other products full of bacteria.

Products like toothpaste, chewing gum and even soy sauce were found to be made with toxic ingredients. Roughly 900,000 tubes of Chinese made toothpaste containing a poison used in some antifreeze products turned up in U.S. hospitals for the mentally ill, prisons, juvenile detention centers and even some hospitals serving the general population.

Then the Colgate-Palmolive Company announced that it had found counterfeit “Colgate” toothpaste containing the anti-freeze diethylene glycol, a syrupy poison.

Although tainted or poorly made and tested food from China was first noticed in the United States and other western nations, once China checked its own store shelves it found problems. 

Inspectors in southwest China’s Guangxi region found excessive additives and preservatives in nearly 40 percent of 100 children’s snacks sampled during the second quarter of 2007, according to a report on China’s central government Web site.

The snacks — including soft drinks, candied fruits, gelatin desserts and some types of crackers — were taken from 70 supermarkets, department stores and wholesale markets in seven cities in the region, it said.

Only 35 percent of gelatin desserts sampled met food standards, the report said, while two types of candied fruit contained 63 times the permitted amount of artificial sweetener.

And if substandard children’s snacks weren’t bad enough, China and the U.S. FDA uncovered a huge racket in substandard medicines. One manufacturer of medicines was implicated in 11 deaths.  Five manufactures lost the ability to continue in the business.  And 128 drug makers lost their Chinese government Good Manufacturing Practice certificates, a symbol of favorable performance, the China Daily newspaper reported on its Web site.

We also saw, thanks to an aroused international media, child laborers illegally producing Beijing Olympics 2008 memorabilia. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for China, a slavery scandal erupted. Slaves were found mining materials and making bricks inside China.

The United Nations condemned China for the worst pollution in the world. China also produces more greenhouse gases than any other nation by far.

Despite China’s long history for managing its media and controlling what the world learned about the People’s Republic, stories surfaced and were verified that showed an illegal trade in “harvested” human organs from inside China. Unscrupulous doctors and businessmen teamed up to create a thriving business in human organs. The problem was that the organs came from prisoners and the mentally ill, who had no say in the matter and died before they could become witnesses to this atrocity.

Add to this a long and unresolved dispute about the way China controls its currency and a thriving business inside China in counterfeit goods: everything from U.S. music and motion pictures to Rolex watches, books and, well, you name it.

China tried to market a new Chinese made automobile to the upscale European buyer but the vehicle disintegrated in a 40 MPH crash test. Now Europeans wouldn’t be, well, caught dead in the thing.

So from May until July 2007, despite the Chinese News Spin Machine going full tilt the bad news about China seemed to be spinning out of control.

Just today, July 7, 2007, the Central Committee of the Communist Party seemed to be threatening local leaders who allow social unrest.  “Officials who perform poorly in maintaining social stability in rural areas will not be qualified for promotion,” Ouyang Song, a senior party official in charge of personnel matters said, according to China’s Official Communist News media.

All these problems don’t even trump China’s most horrible foreign policy disaster: Suport for Sudan without taking action on Darfur.  The U.N. and others have referred to Sudan’s conduct in Darfur as genocide.  And Hollywood big shots are already calling next summer’s Olympics in Beijing the “genocide games.” 

Not to worry, though. China’s communist leadership still plans a masterful and error free Beijing Olympics 2008.

The communist government of China is taking action to streamline what the western media sees next summer. Smokey, coal-fired factories are even being moved out of Beijing and into the countryside because their effluent looks so disgusting there was fear these factories alone could cause a major embarrassment.

Beijing’s population had a practice “No Spiting Day” in an effort to reduce this disgusting habit common in the city. The test was a disastrous failure and a new training approach is planned. Beijing also had a day devoted to polite lining up for buses and trains. This worked out a little better with the obedient and terrified city workers not taking any chances.

During the Olympics, communist leaders in Beijing plan to remove from the city the hordes of vagrants, homeless people and orphaned children who live on Beijing’s streets. Some estimate that as many as 2 million orphaned or homeless children live in Beijing alone.

In order to assess what can be done about Beijing’s choked streets overwhelmed by traffic; and to see if a dent can be made in the choking air pollution, one million Beijing automobile drivers will have to stay at home or use mass transit on a day scheduled to test the impact of all of this. Beijing only has 3 million registered automobiles so inconveniencing one-third of them for one day should hardly impact the economy, right? But if the test is a success, one would have to remind China that the Olympics is not a one day event.

When all this is assessed together, one might ask, when we get to Beijing next summer for the Olympic Games, how much of what we see will be real? And how much is a product of the smoke and mirrors China often employs to produce the desired result.


Pollution Dangers Cast Shadow over 2008 Olympics

Chinese Government Staff: “Happy News President Hu Jintao; We Ready For Happy Time Olympics!”

Some National Cultures More Tolerant of Death?

Tricky Vietnamese Truth About Catfish
The Chinese are just as smart as the Vietnamese on how to work the American system….

China says food safety scares threaten stability

China’s “Drug Abuse” Problem: Below Standard Pharmaceuticals Have Been Deadly

China may need a fresh approach to regulating its often unruly economy

China tells local authorities to address social instability


From John Carey: A friend sent us this:


I was in a Beijing hotel last year… A very upscale American style one near the Olympic area.Inside the hotel, it seemed identical to any nice hotel you’d see in New York, Dallas or LA… except for the big sign next to the faucet in the bathroom.

From John Carey: I had the same experience in Moscow.  Superior 4-star hotel  Water out of the tap was brown.