Saturday, July 14, 2007

Food quality and your health

As it seems more apparent that imported Chinese food doesn't undergo much if any quality testing or safety inspections, it is becoming dangerous to eat whatever you buy at your supermarket.
Some of these problems may be caused by international agreements like the NAFTA treaty. Where we may have strict safety requirements in Canada for what we grow to eat, Mexico may not follow our rules, yet under NAFTA they are free to export their food products to us. So what about South American food exporting countries? Who is inspecting and testing this imported food product? No one. Who knows what toxic fertilizers or chemicals are added to food produced in foreign lands?
In many cases you just KNOW the quality of the imported product is far inferior. We always look for a Dole label on fresh pineapple, having been stung too many times by South American pineapple that simply rots before it ripens! Hawaii has been growing pineapple too long and guards their industry closely. And what about those lovely red strawberries from somewhere that are all white and woody inside? They produce them to LOOK wonderful, unconcerned about quality. This is only a taste issue, but it could become downright sickening. The recent pet food problem is an example.
It's hard enough within the US and Canada to monitor quality. The spinach ecoli problem last year. Salmonella in peanut butter. Botulism in carrot juice. Four children died and hundreds more got sick from eating undercooked hamburgers infected with a dangerous form of ecoli bacteria four years ago. Are we being told the truth about mad cow disease?
If food monitoring is out of control in our own countries, how can we expect safe food produce coming from foreign shores?
In the US less than 1% of imported food is tested or inspected. And people are clamoring for a label stating the country of origin. None of this has happened [yet] in the States because of special interest groups and lobbyists! Always the scourge of the consumer.
And did you know that in Canada, if you import tomatoes, for instance, and simply package them here, they can be labeled as 'Product of Canada'. Whoever got that deception through?
The European Union just announced ambitious plans for an EU-wide food safety program to include a new watchdog agency with more than 80 possible changes to food safety laws. And spurred by deadly outbreaks of E. coli and other food-borne pathogens, a group of U.S. lawmakers is pushing to put all food safety oversight under a single federal agency.

Time we Canadians started taking our food consumption seriously too, maybe using the Chinese method to jerk the chain of the food industry; they simply executed the guy in charge of food exports for not doing his job properly. Dereliction of duty.
Heads need to roll, maybe literally.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:07 pm

    This is Canada, nobody is ever accountable for their actions. You say you didn't do anything wrong and the authority walks away.


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