With all the uproar about the state of the Chinese food industry and such questionable practices as the serving of rat meat,the public have been turning to the government for some sort of protection against these criminal perpetrators, as citizens of any country would expect from their elected officials. However it seems that Chinese citizens aren’t going to get this protection, at least not when it comes to protecting them against outrageous food safety crimes.
Despite China’s massive growth, the superpower doesn’t seem to be on the same level as other developed countries when it comes to food safety, and it may never. A recent address by a Chinese official, the assistant director of China’s National Centre for Food Safety Risk Assessment said that while the government is developing new food safety plans, it is unlikely to ever follow the safety standards of other developed nations such as The USA and European countries.
This post from Bloomberg.com explains:
China now buys more new cars, PC computers and smartphones than any other country. But despite such material gains, Chinese should never expect their government to guarantee a food supply as safe as that of the U.S., European Union or Japan.
This was the message delivered by Wang Zhutian, assistant director of China’s National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment, at a July 10 press conference about the government developing new food-safety standards. A reporter asked: When will China implement food-safety standards equivalent to those in developed countries?
Wang offered a rambling answer in which he noted that his agency — which is chartered, in part, to develop national food-safety standards — has taken a close look at how standards work in developed countries. However, due to China’s status as an emerging nation, he said, “We must formulate our own standard based on our ‘national condition.’”
Aren’t food-safety regulations, in any country, theoretically devised to protect human health, regardless of “national condition”? Why should China be different?
“As a simple example,” Wang offered. “If we were to apply the EU’s air quality standards to Beijing, we’d fail daily.”
According to this post it is evident that the Chinese government is not able or willing to guarantee protection for its citizens, especially when it comes to food safety.
The Chinese have suffered a terrible food supply record recently which includes criminal charges and regulatory incompetence. The scandals we have witnessed in the country this year includes
- A poisonous fake lamb scandal
- Thousands of dead pigs in the Shanghai river
- Sale of chicken feet, 46 years past their sell-by date
It is shocking to think that these kinds of atrocities are happening in the food industry in China and visitors to the country need to be careful about where they buy and consume food because it is unlikely that they will receive must help from the government in terms of establishing new regulation to protect food consumers.