China Has a Food Fraud Problem
Food fraud in China is close to 100% pervasive spanning all food groups. China has a reputation as “the factory of the world.” The population is more than willing to exploit anything to make more money. Although the main location of sources for fraudulent food comes out of China, it is a global problem.
In response to the problem, companies are developing molecule markers and genetic finger prints to authenticate which products are genuine. Some of the businesses share a secure ledger of transactions called blockchain.
Blockchain technologically tracks food sources. For example: in the case of chickens, blockchain digitally tracks the birds from the coop all the way to market. Database records from blockchain make it more difficult to break the tracking chain without disrupting the entire connection. Nevertheless, as much more technology develops to detect food fraud, producers of the illegal products will continue to update their technology to dodge inspection and detection. Blockchain is a great idea, but the information is only as authentic as the person entering the data.
Counterfeiter and food tamperers are using any method to continue their fraud. A food safety law from 2015 will enforce penalties on anyone caught. Jail time and fines are new consequences for this crime. Whether this will deter the culprits is unknown.
Here are some of the fake foods China produces and exports:
Malpractice and sales of fake honey are one of the biggest scams for which China is notorious. Diluted with beetroot, rice or sugar syrup results in a mixture that might make it hard to distinguish from the real thing. While honeybees are in danger and pollination is at risk, the manufacturing of this product is widespread. Up to 70% of the honey market is not real. Some of the exports get repackaged in other countries. Then re-shipment to the US takes place. Marketing of the fake honey as a food staple is not it’s only purpose. “Honey” is also used in medicines and other byproducts.
Dried or rotten peas soaked in water with food coloring and a dangerous carcinogen, metabisulfite, is considered potential food by some. The results of this process result in products that do not soften when cooked and turns the water a frightful unnatural green color.
Rat and “other” meat
Rats, foxes, minks, and probably other road kill is passed off as beef. Certainly, spices, food preservatives, and food coloring are among the ingredients in this concoction.
There are many products and cuts from this type of meat. Exposure to pesticides to prevent spoiling and soaking from cancer causing chemicals makes it all inedible.
An incident report dating from 2011, recorded a woman who had served her family pork for dinner. Hours after the meal, she noticed a distinct blue glow coming from the leftover meat. This alarming display was immediately reported to authorities. It serves as a blatant example of the treated meat products.
Allegedly industrial fabricated eggs were produced and sold. The shells were conceivable from a type of wax. The yolk, and whites were derived from gelatin, food coloring, and water. Although this rumor is unsubstantiated, it remains a well-known scandal in China.
Walnuts are an expensive commodity in China. Thieves have resorted to breaking open the shells, filling them with concrete and paper, then sealing the shells. This common fraud is happening all over China. Police have resorted to all sorts of means to find and stop the perpetrators.
Rumors are the name of this game. A recent story raises concerns that “rice” made from derivatives of potato and plastic resin thrives. Although this case has not been substantiated, rice that stays hard after cooking has the label, plastic.
This is definitely cause for concern. The garlic from China is not of quality. Most of what you see in the supermarket comes from China. Any produce that is grown with pesticides and involved in unsafe processing, should be avoided. In addition, it may contain methyl bromide which contributes damage in the ozone layer. That’s not all. It is toxic and highly dangerous to organic cells. Garlic from China should not be ingested, period!
Wine and liquor
Watering down wine isn’t a new idea. Counterfeiters combine cheap fruit juice, water, and expensive labels to produce a product that looks like a high-end wine. Most consumers have no education about wine, therefore, fall prey to this very old trick.
Chicken and Fish
Both chicken and fish are easily contaminated. Avian flu and other airborne ills are common in China and with lack of tracking or clean chicken coops contamination is easy. Also, fish are often stuffed with other fillers to add weight for increased profit.
Meanwhile, China has a name in production and factory work; food is not to be trusted. Try to stick to fresh produce from your local farmers market. Better to be safe than sorry.