Dangerous food from ChinaHundreds of Japanese have gotten ill from eating dumplings tainted with pesticide that were imported from China. China is in a difficult position in admitting responsibility. That is because Japan’s police detected in the dumplings certain pesticide ingredients used only in China.
In addition, four people who took anti-blood coagulation medicine died in the United States. An unlicensed factory in China produced the deadly ingredient in the medicine. What is worse, the Panamanian government released a report saying that 115 people died after taking cold medicine imported from China. The cold medicine included a toxic substance used to produce anti-freeze.
We are in a no man’s land in terms of inferior Chinese-made goods. The U.S. Olympic Committee decided that its team should carry food themselves to the American players during the Beijing Olympic Games. Chicken meat in China was found to contain excessive amounts of steroids, a banned substance for the Olympics. Last year, the top official in charge of promoting safety for all Chinese food and medicines was condemned to death, due to his involvement in a bribery case. The world is in constant fear of harmful Chinese-made products. Newly coined terms such as “China problem” or “China-free” have emerged as buzzwords in our society. The former word indicates an “unreliable Chinese product,” while the latter indicates a shop that never deals in Chinese-made products.
As for harmful foods imported from China, no country should be more concerned than Korea. Korea imports more than 4 trillion won ($4.2 billion) worth of Chinese-made foods per year.
The damage caused by harmful Chinese foods causes endless woes. There are more cases than we can count on our fingers. They include parasitic insect eggs found in imported Chinese kimchi; fish with malachite ingredients and steamed rice whitened by dioxide sulphuric acid. However, we are facing the reality that we can not feed ourselves without cheap Chinese food. This issue affects low-income people even more.
We need to protect ourselves from the danger. Tainted food is a matter of grave concern, posing possible threats to people’s lives.
The government needs to take appropriate steps to strengthen the hygiene procedures for Chinese food. Recently, the whole world began putting Chinese authorities under intense pressure to secure the safety of the country’s food and medicines. If necessary, we need to be actively engaged in such a global movement.