Why no ban on Chinese food imports?

The Pet Food Crisis. A few months ago, a scandal erupted when Americans discovered that hundreds of pet deaths in the United States were attributed to poisoned pet food manufactured in China. More than one pet food manufacturer was involved, it quickly became clear that the poisoning was intentional. More importantly though, it was clear that the substituting of one ingredient for another was intended as a cost-saving measure. In other words, it was completely profit based. Disgustingly, China denies blame out of one side of its mouth while out of the other side it takes action against the manufacturers. Wikipedia has a comprehensive summary of the pet food crisis if you want to read more.

Poisoned Toothpaste. Two days ago, the Times ran a story (free reg req’d) that toothpaste found in Panama and manufactured in China was found to have the poison diethylene glycol. That story followed on the heels of a previous instance in Panama where diethylene glycol marked as glycerin (a sweet syrup you find in all kinds of processed food), manufactured in China, was mixed into cold medicine, killing 100 people there. According to the article, deaths linked to food manufactured in China have occurred in Haiti, Bangladesh, Argentina, Nigeria and India. In fact, the same Chinese company implicated in the Haiti poisoning also shipped about 50 tons of counterfeit glycerin to the United States in 1995, to an American bulk pharmaceuticals manufacturer.

Poisoned food. In addition, hundreds of shipments containing thousands of tainted products including food products, medicines, dietary supplements, and cosmetics manufactured in China have been discovered by U.S. officials. While they stop a small percentage, a much larger percentage is making its way into American homes. Moreover, unscrupulous Chinese entrepreneurs callously ignore poultry and meat import bans to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds of tainted flesh.

So what the hell is the matter with our government? Why aren’t they trying to stop this? After all, isn’t the first function of a government to protect its people? After all, didn’t other first-world countries like Japan and the UK ban US beef after the mad cow scare?

According to the Washington Post article, the contemptible reason nothing is being done is money. Because our trade is so inextricably intertwined with China, and because Americans are so obsessed with the desire to import items in to China, we take a weak approach to exports out of China to the U.S.

The Math Ain’t Right. Fine, I get that our representatives lie prostrate in front of the Almighty Dollar. But here, even the math doesn’t make sense. According to the Post, agricultural exports to China total only $5 billion a year, while the Chinese enjoy a $232 billion annual trade surplus on the US. So where is the economic benefit? It seems to me we could kill two birds with one piece of pet food if we reduced the trade deficit with China by enforcing some REAL restrictions on the import of agricultural products. If you think that is a good idea, it takes only a quick call or email to your representative in order to let them know you care about not being poisoned by Chinese imports.

6 Responses to “Why no ban on Chinese food imports?”


  • Hi,

    US should ban import of China products all together. AFter I read numerous articles how some of the chinese companies do have an intention to substitute ingredients on toothpaste, tainted canned goods, pet food, luncheon meats and even every day products. We should boycott chinese food imports and made in China products all together.

    Just check out this website if you are interested reading shocking stories:Many people have suffered and even died how these products were made. Sometimes power and money can lead to greed, and people who have worked in these companies are not given fair compensation which can lead to torture, poor health and even death.

    http://duggmirror.com/world_news/Made_In_China_2007_Danger_Timeline/

  • DO YOU KNOW THAT WALMART WOULD GO OUT OF BUSINESS TODAY
    EVERY THING IN THEIR STORES IS FROM CHINA

    WE AS AMERICAN CITIZENS SHOULD STAGE A PROTEST
    BY NOT BUYING ANY GOODS FROM CHINA READ YOUR LABELS
    CHECK YOUR KIDS TOYS BEFORE YOU BUY THEM

    IM STARING A WEB SITE CALLED BAN CHINESE IMPORTS
    GIVE ME A WEEK

  • The US cannot afford to ban China imports as it’d have a profound effect on consumer goods’ prices in the US and lead to a slump in consumption.
    As far as Chinese goods are concerned, economics of lower production costs will prevail; these are too small to ignore for large corporations.
    The right way out is to ensure the right safety standards in production and transport for Chinese goods. And American firms that market these goods (Walmart etc) should be made responsible – they’re capable of guaranteeing safety standards of their sourcers/ manufacturers in China and should be held accountable.

  • I don’t buy good from china when I have a choice but they are all over. It seem that big business and government just don’t care. My feeling is that the whole thing has to fail before we will see any change. Next spring I will grow my own food. Screw the stores.

  • ban chinnese food imports

  • Hello just thought i would tell you something.. This is twice now i’ve landed on the blog within the last 3 days searching for totally unrelated things. Spooky or what?

Comments are currently closed.