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8. Food safety  

2011-06-14 00:37:01|  分类: 关于考试 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Do you worry about the food you eat that is produced in china? How does the food safety issue influence our lives in China?

Food safety

Food safety in the People's Republic of China is a growing concern relating to agriculture.

China's principal crops are rice, corn, wheat, soybeans, and in addition to fruits and vegetables. Principal livestock products include pork, beef, dairy, and eggs.

These years there have been numerous incidents involving food safety in the PRC.

the State Food and Drug Administration of China was created in 2003; officials are also under increasing public and international pressure to solve food safety problems.

The Chinese government oversees agricultural production as well as the manufacture of food packaging, containers, chemical additives, drug production, and business regulation.

Food safety cases

There have been numerous incidents involving food safety in the PRC including the unconventional use of pesticides or other dangerous chemical additives as food preservatives or additives and the use of unnhealthy starting materials as food ingredients.

The 2008 Chinese milk scandal received the most attention among food safety incidents.Other cases can be easily found in the news, like tainted pork, toxic milk, and dyed buns.

Ink, dye, bleach, wax and toxic chemicals: These are just a few of the substances that have been found recently in food products in China, reigniting fears over food safety despite repeated government pledges to crack down on tainted eats.

Why is China having such trouble making its food safe?

While China is no stranger to food scandals, a spate of food contamination cases brought to light over the past month has been shocking even to the most jaded of observers here.

Over the past few days, health authorities in the southern province of Guangdong shut down 17 noodle makers after they were discovered mixing ink and wax to their dough.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, nearly 300 people in the city of Changsha were reportedly sickened after eating meat contaminated with the banned “skinny meatadditive clenbuterol, the subject of a meat industry crackdown in March. In perhaps the most bizarre case, also in Changsha, a number of consumers earlier this month walked into their kitchens at night to discover their store-bought pork was glowing in the dark.

Beijing has struggled with food safety for years. The problem appeared to come to a head in 2008, when milk tainted with the industrial chemical melamine killed at least six children, sickened tens of thousands of others in 2008 and appeared to shock the government into taking decisive action. But the melamine eventually reappeared in the Chinese food supply, along with a host of other chemicals and illegal additives, leading many observers to wonder why China can’t seem to solve such a fundamental problem.

One of the biggest issues is the drive to make a buck at any cost.Some companies see that by using additives, they can cut overhead costs or boost profit margins, and they merely aren’t thinking about the affects the additives will have on consumers.

A flood of news stories in recent days have informed Chinese consumers that meat containing clenbuterol may be leaner, but it may also cause headaches, nausea, and heart palpitations, while vegetables with sodium nitrite may grow faster, but they can also cause cancer.

Influences:
do harm to health —— produce concerns, worries & fears —— trust crisis arise —— sales decline —— economic downturn —— cause unstable factors for society

the public’s health is harmed / influenced by …

Recent reports of everyday foods, such as ... have highlighted the problems.

These food scandals that are threatening public health and the environment.

consumer concern for food safety became the general public concern.

People reply on the public food control institutions which should tell them what to do.

There must be some administration for food quality control and trace outbreaks

This has raised questions like: Who can we trust?

lead to a breakdown of the relationship between consumers and food producers, and a loss of consumers’confidence in chinese food safety system.

Such food scandals will be a central feature in a "risk society".

Consumers: worry, concern, fears, and struggle

To eat or not to eat: it is the question many have to ponder now, as a new wave of food safety scares has renewed fears in China over continued food safety problems.

Lin Min, a resident of the city of Hangzhou, has decided to avoid eating watermelons this summer after hearing reports of watermelons exploding after being treated with excessive doses of growth accelerant.

Lin's worries are shared by a growing number of people, with the surfacing of tainted pork, toxic milk, dyed buns and other tainted foods in recent months. Many Chinese have taken to the Internet to express their concerns about food safety.

Government: optimistic; NO NEED TO WORRY; seeks to improve supervision

Compared with the pessimistic opinions shared by many citizens, government officials seem to be casting the issue in a relatively positive light, arguing that food safety has improved in recent years.

Analysts say that heightened fears about food safety are not without a certain degree of irrationality.

"Forchlorfenuron, a plant hormone that caused the watermelons to explode earlier this year, is legal for agricultural use. It results in earlier harvests and is not dangerous to consume. The explosions were caused by farmers applying the hormone at the wrong time," said Wang Jianwei, an official from the Zhejiang Department of Agriculture.

"In a similar case, there were media reports that ethylene was used to accelerate growth in bananas. These reports stirred public outrage, but in fact, using ethylene in this way is a common agricultural practice and is not dangerous in any way," Wang said.

Experts have called for better education of the public when it comes to food safety, saying that food safety fears are largely fueled by a lack of knowledge in the areas of biology and agriculture.

The fact that people are paying more attention to health and food safety is a sign of increased social affluence, Zheng said.

Government measures

China’s Ministry of Health is planning to revise and make public its list of legal food additives by the end of the year, while also publishing a black list of illegal additives.

The answer to that, according to Mr. Ross, is an education blitz.

Another issue, according to Mr. Ross, is that there are too many cooks in the kitchen — or rather too many bureaucracies handling food safety. The Ministry of Health is the lead agency on food safety issues, he explains, but the State Administration for Industry and Commerce is also involved, as are the State Food and Drug Administration and the Ministry of Agriculture.

Experts

Struggles with food safety are not a specifically Chinese problem. Many countries, including the U.S. and Japan, have gone through similar growing pains in the food industry, says Wu Ming, a professor at Beijing University’s school of public health.

But the big difference between the U.S. and China is size, adding that the quantity of companies involved in China’s food industry will make for tougher regulatory obstacles.

“It’s impossible to lessen such problems overnight,” Mrs. Ming said. “It will take many years.”

A question: Is Genetically Modified Safe?

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