Not that Far-Fetched: China’s Reputation For Toxic Food Forces Them to Publically Address Rumors About Selling Human Flesh to Africa
No matter how outrageous a report about a food product made in China for domestic consumption or export may sound, based on the country’s well-documented history of lousy quality control, you should never dismiss such reports out of hand.
Like this one.
As reported a few days ago by the UK’s Mirror news site, Chinese companies are denying that they sold marinated human flesh in cans as real food to clients in Africa.
A top Chinese official has dismissed reports which inquired about the origins of some “meat products” that had been shipped to the African continent by Chinese food companies. In media reports, an unnamed Zambian woman who is living in China reportedly issued warnings to Africans not to eat Chinese-made corned beef. She said that dead human bodies were being collected, then marinated, before being canned and labeled for human consumption.
In a statement, China’s ambassador to Zambia, Yang Youming, accused people of spreading “malicious” rumors.
“Today a local tabloid newspaper is openly spreading a rumor, claiming that the Chinese use human meat to make corned beef and sell it to Africa. This is completely a malicious slandering and vilification which is absolutely unacceptable to us,” he said in a statement to Xinhua, China’s official state-run news agency.
“We hereby express our utmost anger and the strongest condemnation over such an act,” Yang continued.
But, as the Mirror noted further, other reports quoted Chinese meat plant workers who seemed to confirm that human remains were being included in some products, due to limited burial space, adding that meat products that did not contain human remains were being saved for shipment to more powerful trading partners.
Some shocking images have made their way around the ‘Net recently purporting to show human bodies being processed and prepared for inclusion in meat products, but the Mirror said that those were exposed as fakes from a 2012 marketing stunt for a video game.
That said, there is plenty of documented evidence that Chinese products – and especially food products – are often produced with tainted processes and chemicals.
As we reported in early May, quality control and employee health are not issues that Chinese industry or the Chinese government are overly concerned about, especially in comparison to U.S. and European standards. But there are some foods and products you should definitely avoid completely if they are produced by China.
What to avoid
The following should always be avoided:
Tilapia: An astounding 80 percent of tilapia, a whitefish that is sold in the U.S., comes from China. These fish are bottom feeders and eat nearly anything. With so much water pollution in China, eating anything raised in contaminated water would not be safe, of course. In addition, one study says that tilapia is less healthy than bacon.
Cod: Another popular whitefish in the U.S., about 50 percent of cod consumed in America comes from China. Again, there is the water pollution and feeding issue; and what’s more, there are not many restrictions in China for exporting these kinds of products.
Apple juice: Again, about half of all apple juice sold in America comes from China (because it’s cheaper, supposedly). Chinese farmers are known to use harmful (to humans and the environment) herbicides on the foods they grow, and this even includes herbicides that the government has banned (so they must be really bad). Your best bet here is to make your own apple juice at home from locally grown, organic crops.
There are many more examples of foods you should avoid because they are made in China; read about them here.