Reuters reported January 14, 2009 that Chinese food and drug makers are struggling from a declining economy. The story states a senior Chinese official is concerned manufacturers could be tempted to cut corners and ignore quality standards.
China has been scrambling for almost two years now to upgrade the quality of its imports. In May of 2007 when it was discovered that tainted pet food ingredients imported from China was the cause of thousands of pet deaths across the U.S. and Canada, the scrambling for quality control began. Sadly, the Chinese government has been extremely unsuccessful enforcing any resemblance of quality control. And now, a senior Chinese official is telling the world, things could get worse. http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSPEK346481
Shao Mingli, a senior official from China’s food and drug safety watchdog told Reuters “Some enterprises might conduct production in violation of standards and regulations in an attempt to ease their financial burdens.” The watchdog had dealt with 297,500 cases of “illegal drugs and medical equipment” with a value of about 600 million yuan ($88 million) last year, Xinhua said, in an indication of the seriousness of the problem.
The Reuters article continues: “The China Daily on Tuesday said that at least 30 dogs had died from liver complications after eating a brand of dog food which the state newspaper said was tainted with aflatoxin. The paper quoted vets who said a number of dogs had been diagnosed with liver damage after eating the pet food, and a local supplier that had stopped selling it. But China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said it had neither approved the food for import, nor had border quarantine units ever allowed its import, Xinhua said, casting doubt over the product’s origins.” The very first reports of this latest pet food contamination in China stated the aflatoxin contamination was due to holding the imported product at port in hot, humid conditions.
China has had a history of not providing much news to the world until well after an incident has occurred. This latest report from a Chinese senior official causes one to wonder; is China beginning to be forthright, or do they already know more than the rest of the world and preparing us gently for the next problem?
We can only hope for the long shot; the FDA will realize that every Chinese imported food, food ingredient, or drug (toys, tires, toothpaste…just about everything) needs to be checked and re-checked before it is allowed to enter the country.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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