Melamine Apology

wen-jiabaoThe day after yet more melamine in food warnings, this time in Bangladesh where eight imported powdered milk products have been banned and in Italy, it is reported that the Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao, has apologised for the Chinese government’s complacency in the melamine in milk scandal. Tainted baby formula milk has killed at least four babies in China and led to the hospitalisation of tens of thousands; it has also caused undue worry for parents the world over.

“We feel that though the incident occurred in enterprises, the government is also responsible,” Wen said in a rare interview with Bruce Alberts, editor-in-chief of Science magazine. The rare one on one interview took place on September 30 and was published in the US journal yesterday. Wen, apparently expressed sorrow and promised new food regulations after the melamine-tainted milk debacle.

Previously, the head of China’s food quality watchdog, Li Changjiang, resigned “with state approval” back in September, at the height of the scandal, according to the Xinhua news agency. And, yesterday, New Zealand’s Stuff suggested that organised criminal gangs may have been behind the tainted milk that brought down the Chinese operations of the country’s food giant Fonterra.

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6 thoughts on “Melamine Apology

  1. Hi Matt,

    I am an expat living in Shenzhen near you and guess what. Despite living here for years I am still alive. Food safety is important but so is a sense of perspective.

    If you truly genuinely fear for your safety living in China and eating here you would surely have left. As it is you are obviously trying to make some cheap political points and trying to make some generic anti Chinese points due to your own political or psychological profile

    May I also remind you that there have been numerous food safety issues in Japan Italy UK Austria and the US is recent years. Contaminated rice, salmonella, adulterated wine, BSE. posioned chocolate etc etc etc

    Food safety is a global concern and the issue is private greed rather than the state. I remind my american friends that profit is behind the contamination and that most of China’s critics are probably people who favour both private enterprise and a lack of regulations

    So in conclusion I blame the companies for lack of oversight AND the criminals for adulteration. I do not blame China per se

    Thank YOu

  2. since i’ve been here some years i could continue Jason’s list maybe adding shrimps containing more antibiotics than your daily dose prescribed by your doctor, soy sauce consisting of black hair, acid and water, gelee’s made from old rubber shoes and on and on. I’ve stopped thinking about what i’m eating here and can only fully agree with Jason’s ban but maybe for 100 years.

  3. A dear Chinese friend – and colleague – of mine, recently brought me a bottle of prized alcohol from her hometown in Schezuan. But shortly before she gave it to me were discussing the food scandals in China, and she mentioned that she herself has stopped buying Chinese products in Japan, where we both work. Still, this was from her hometown, and she wanted me to have it.

    With great anticipation I ripped open the new-looking box (lots of gold and glitter) only to find a bottle with broken seal on the cap, and grime on the glass and cap, and more than a hint of butyric acid. The brew might not have been poisonous, but it did not seem like a high-grade alcohol. I smelt a substitution, if not a rat.

    With regret, I poured this gift down the drain, and informed my friend, who was sad but not shocked. She took it on the chin, like the scientist she is.

    Peter

  4. This is not the first time China has tainted their food products! From history they had a long list of killer food products scandal under their belt. They had fake medicine. killer diet pills, toxic in canned food, industrial dye/toxic in food, tainted nutritional product, fake eggs, fake fish… The list goes on and on….
    A permanent ban should be placed on ALL China products for say 10 years or more so that they will enforce a strict regulations and quality control over their products.

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