You probably already heard about the Beijing baozi maker who confessed on Chinese television to cutting costs by filling his steamed pork buns with seasoned cardboard instead of meat. While China Daily recently declared the story a fake, the fact remains that many other stories of substandard consumer products reported in both the Chinese and international media are not.
The good news is that action is being taken. China Daily reports that government regulators recently shut down 180 food plants in China. This was part of a mass overhaul of China’s food safety policies, which includes a crackdown on the use and distribution of banned food additives and counterfeit food products. According to China Daily, mineral oil, paraffin wax, formaldehyde and the carcinogenic malachite green, among other scary substances, have been used in the production of flour, candy, pickles, biscuits, seafood, tofu and other foods, and some manufacturers have also used recycled or expired ingredients.
Watching what goes into your family is essential, but substandard food products are only one part of the problem – what goes on your family is important as well. The Beijing Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce has revealed that the Yansha Youyi Shopping Center, Zhongguancun Carrefour, Zhongyou Department Store and Grand Pacific Department Store are under investigation for selling children’s clothing made with hazardous materials. Yansha was busted for stocking a dress by label Fa Mi Ni, which has purportedly manufactured clothing using a potentially carcinogenic dye compound, while Carrefour sold a Shuang Chi brand jacket with a pH level exceeding the national average. The toxic clothing has now been confiscated, and penalties will most likely be imposed upon the stores.