Thursday, September 18, 2008

Made In China Is Hazardous To Your Health

China is responsible for the manufacturing of lead paint in toys sold in the United States. Dumplings laced with pesticides sold in Japan. Toxic fish and cough medicine that may guarantee that you never take another breath in order to get rid of that cough.

If you bought products that were made in China and maintained your health, maybe you're pet was not as lucky. Last year, there were pet food recalls in North America, Europe, and South Africa after thousands of dogs and cats became sick and died from contaminated rice, corn gluten and wheat gluten in Chinese made pet food.

So, it should not be very surprising that China is in the news for compromising product quality once again. This time toxic milk has killed three Chinese infants and has made another 6244 babies across the country very ill. The dangerous chemical melamine was found in the babies milk powder.

China may not be the only country involved with this contaminated milk. The product has apparently been exported to Bangladesh, Burundi, Gabon, Burma and Yemen while tainted yogurt has been found in Hong Kong.

Of course, since a product made in China can be dangerous to our health, as consumers, we can simply avoid Chinese goods by reading the product label and avoid purchasing any item that states: "Made in China". Sounds very reasonable doesn't it? However, that may not be as easy as it sounds for ingredients in our food supply.

The truth is that we live in ignorance of how widespread Chinese products are in our food supply. This is because of a loophole in the food labeling laws that does not require a country of origin label for food ingredients if the product has been processed and has undergone substantial transformation.

As an example of the problem, consider the words of former FDA official William Hubbard next month when eating a candy bar during Halloween. Last year, he was quoted in the New York Times as saying that most of the candy in supermarket aisles is “likely made with at least one ingredient that originated” in China. "None of the sweets in the candy aisle said: "Made in China," but most are likely made with at least one ingredient that originated there".

"Candy wrappers typically list just the U.S. distributor of the products, so label readers can't determine the origin of the vanillin found in a Nestle Crunch bar, the carageenan in a Baby Ruth or the gum arabic in a pack of Mentos".

"Those three ingredients, and numerous other flavoring and preservative additives, commonly come from Chinese companies. Also, companies in China produce about 80 percent of the world's wheat gluten, common in most breads, cakes and cookies, and 80 percent of its sorbic acid, a preservative used in just about everything", Hubbard said.

Unlike properly labeled consumer goods, the fact is that we can't do much to avoid tainted food ingredients made in China. They are not properly labeled on our processed foods. However, the truth is that "Made in China" is hazardous to your health whether its on the product label or not.

For more on China Product recalls read: "Its The Year Of The Pig For The Consumer" on

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