If you thought that the most recent spate of public health scandals was a one-off affair, think again. This latest batch of food safety stories addresses milk powder imports, the integrity of bottled drinks, and illegal additives in steamed buns.
1. Milk powder imports dominate market: China’s still feeling the aftershocks of the 2008 milk powder scandal, a fact that is clearly reflected in its economy. Milk powder imports have ballooned almost fourfold since 2008.
For the first time ever, foreign companies are predicted to overtake their Chinese counterparts by claiming 60 percent of the milk powder market. Industry experts say that it will take at least three years for domestic companies to turn the tables again.
Many rural as well as urban parents are making the switch, preferring to take no chances when it comes to their children’s safety. One parent said it’s even rare for people to buy foreign brands produced in China. Can you really blame them?
2. Eighty percent of Chinese consumers doubt beverage safety: According to a recent survey, only one in five Chinese consumers believe bottled drinks to be safe.
Dairy products raised the most concerns, with 67.8 percent of respondents distrusting their quality. Fruit and vegetable juices and drinks made in restaurants placed second and third on the beverage doubt-o-meter. The most pressing issues for consumers were illegal additives and toxic substances in the production cycle.
Despite these numbers, most people still buy bottled drinks; only 1.3 percent of respondents claimed to never buy any. Will you be reaching for the iced tea next time you go to Seven-Eleven?
3. Beijing chain dumps banned food additive into dumplings: Why, oh why, food gods? Four shops from the well-known Zhenggongfu (蒸功夫包子) chain were accused of putting banned additives into their products. One of these is veltol, an additive widely used for its “meaty flavor.”
The company denies ownership of the shops, claiming that very few of the 200 plus outlets using the Zhenggongfu name are part of the official franchise.
According to this photo series by China Daily, many of the Zhenggongfu shops are owned by natives of a small town in Anhui that is famous for its pastries. The town, Jiangzheng, has many stores that openly sell bottles of artificial flavoring.
Via China Daily and Want China Times