Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, September 22, 2014

Beware of So-Called “Food Safety” in China

Last month, the Chicago Tribune and the Wall St. Journal gave us some hard facts about the food safety problem with China’s food products. You might just think twice before biting into your next hamburger or chicken strip. Many fast-food companies’ reputations are still hurting from a 2012 scandal that involved one of their biggest markets, and the restaurant giant McDonald’s, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, is now facing a new food scare. McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken’s parent company Yum have now apologized to customers after Chinese regulators shut down a local meat supplier. A television report showed workers at Shanghai Husi Food picking up meat from a factory floor. Newspapers also described "a particularly gruesome video of workers repackaging rotten meat,” and mixing meat that was beyond its expiration date into the current supply. The companies said they immediately stopped using this supplier and switched to alternatives.

The earlier scandal in 2012 also involved the same companies. That scandal involved chicken pumped with excessive amounts of antibiotics. Now, as of this latest report, all KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants have been required to stop using meat materials supplied by the Husi factory. The behavior of this Husi Food Co. is a classic example of "quality fade," a term that means companies that start out with high-quality products and then cut corners in alarming ways, such as the 2007 scandal of using lead-based paint in children’s toys. According to the Wall St. Journal, even "the Communist Party can’t protect the people from the bad products…”

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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