EU Food Imports from China

EU Food Imports from China

“Many Germans only realized how much of the food on their plates is harvested and produced in China when thousands of schoolchildren in eastern Germany were afflicted with diarrhea and vomiting two weeks ago in an epidemic thought to have been triggered by Chinese strawberries contaminated with norovirus..”

“…by last Friday, 262 reports on Chinese products had been received in Brussels for 2012 alone. They included noodles infested with maggots, shrimp contaminated with antibiotics, foul-smelling peanuts and candied fruit with an excessively high sulfur content (see graphic).”

“The world’s largest retail chains, Walmart, Carrefour, Tesco and Metro, as well as producers like Coca-Cola, Unilever, Barilla, Campbell’s and Nestlé, have recognized that they cannot rely on inspections from suppliers or governments. But they also can’t afford to sell contaminated food products, given the potentially immense harm to their image. This is why the biggest companies in the industry have joined forces to form the Global Food Safety Initiative, with the aim of developing their own quality controls. ….

The initiative doesn’t include smaller companies, such as those that supply caterers and restaurants. In the end, however, the consumer also bears some of the responsibility. In general, China is certainly capable of producing high-quality products, says a food inspector from Hamburg, ‘but you get what you pay for.'”

“The Hidden Price of Food from China,” der Spiegel

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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