When the melamine milk scandal was revealed post-Olympics, Beijing went into a dairy-phobic blitz. After ingesting these dairy products for months, even years, we were suddenly ordering soy lattes at Starbucks and avoiding the dairy section of our local supermarket.
In a recent article from New York Times, China was reported as introducing a new raft of food and safety standards
. In theory, this time they’ll do more than fire a few scapegoats. However, China’s history of food and safety standards does not encourage consumer confidence. Last year the US placed bans on Chinese-made pet food, and then of course there was the contaminated dairy within China itself. Not too long ago, we learned that melamine had also been found in Chinese produced meat and eggs.
The U.S has reacted strongly, placing wide-ranging restrictions on Chinese products and even opening a Food and Drug Administration office in China in an effort to control the safety of exports to the States. Chinese officials are not too happy about the intrusion, and have been quoted as such in many foreign publications. China has been particularly frustrated by the FDA’s decision to order dozens of imported foods to be held at the border for inspection
The cynics assume China’s product safety issues are too widespread to be reined in. The positivists believe that this time China is doing all it can to fix the situation, if for no other reason than to protect their export revenue. But the most important question is whether or not we can feed our babies formula, and have a glass of milk without risking our health. These questions, of course, are still up for debate