Food Labeling: Forget GMOs, Think China

Smithfield pork is about to be purchased–lock, stock, and barrel–by a huge, formerly state owned Chinese company.  The NYT reported the story in the Business section over several days this week.  The company aims to bring pork into China where citizens love that meat.

The back stories are more interesting.

For one thing, Chinese meats–including chicken and duck–are not permitted into the U.S. because of concern about the hygiene, from birth to slaughter to storage to shipping, but by buying Smithfield it may be that China gets “a foot in the door” and argues that because they have a U.S. based company that their Chinese products can be sold here.  The FDA is opposed, for reasons noted, and does not have the labor force to inspect the products.

Here’s what I found most interesting: You know how when you go to a store and look at a package and can see where it’s from?  You know how you might not buy a food product made in China because of the criminal behavior that goes on in adulteration of these products?  Right.

Well, restaurants have no legal obligation to list where their food is from.

So when you are in a restaurant and have fried fish, salad dressing, a soy product, rice, dried mushrooms, noodles, and so on?  It may come from China, and that places you at greater risk health-wise.

Read the Business sections…that’s where the food stories are best.

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