Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

U.S. Food Safety: Fact or Fiction

Excerpt from the NY Times opinion about food safety in the United States

…”The enormous rise in imported food also exposes American consumers to food safety lapses overseas.

In recent years, China has been responsible for food scandals that bring to mind the United States in the days of Upton Sinclair: Chinese companies have been caught adding lead-based whiteners to pasta and selling beverages made with industrial alcohol. Two years ago, almost 300,000 Chinese infants were sickened by baby formula that had been adulterated with melamine, a cheap but toxic chemical. The overuse of antibiotics and pesticides in Chinese agriculture is rampant.

Despite those food safety problems, China has become the largest exporter of food to the United States after Canada and Mexico. About 60 percent of the apple juice in America — like peanut butter, a product consumed largely by children — now comes from China. This is yet another reason that passage of the F.D.A. modernization act is so urgent; it would, for the first time, subject foods from overseas to the same standards as those produced in the United States.”…

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