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Buying from China

  1. #1
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    Buying from China

    I'm curious to know if people buy food from China. I have to admit to not trusting anything from the Mainland at all and so buy only imported food. You just have to read the news each day to see that another company has been found to be doing something wrong. It's never ending.

    What I don't understand is their (the gov and the companies involved) complete lack of regard for their own people and others, namely their export partners. In their quest for the all mighty dollar i can't help but think that people around the world are wising up to their lack of controls (gov) and ethics (the companies involved who knowingly use toxic substances or lie about ingredients and contents). I think it's outrageous that for me to feel safe feeding my family i have to resort to buying food exported from my home country.

    How does everyone else feel?

  2. #2
    miaka is offline Registered User
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    i agree and disagree. i think what we need to keep in mind is that what we hear in the new is just that, news. cnn isn't going to report that everything is up to code... that's just not a juicy story.

    i think in the case w/ the toy recalls, mattel (fisher-price) should take part of the responsibility as well. if the toys weren't done according to their specs, they should not have accepted the merchandise and demand that they re-do it. but in the business world, fisher price would never say they were partly at fault just bc it's bad for business.

    for food, i've been eating food from china since childhood while growing up in the states. now that i'm in hk, i buy the fresh veg and meat that is from china. we hear about the slip ups in the china system bc we are physically in this area. but it happens in a lot of places. remember the spinach laced w/ e.coli in california not too long ago? there are no perfect systems. all we (or they) can do is improve upon what is in place when a loophole surfaces.

    that's just my 2 cents.

  3. #3
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
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    Since the birdflu outbreak I have stopped buying meat from China and am reluctant to buy vegatables from the mainland as well.

    I understand that the US and China are currently in a battle about exports and imports, and the US seems to be struggling with China's new manufacturing status as it is obviously hurting US businesses etc.....and I personally don't trust the US govt. anymore than I trust the Chinese govt....and I do think a lot of the recalls, warnings etc. lately have been politically motivated, or they have been exaggerated as part of the political tug of war.

    However I'm still reluctant to buy foodstuffs from China because corruption in the mainland is still rife- and the problem is not that they don't have safety regulations and inspections in place but that they are not being enforced as they should....

  4. #4
    jane01 is offline Registered User
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    Aussiegal - I'm an Australian as well and I admit to paying HK$20 for a bag of West Australian carrots when I can get the Chinese version for HK$6. As well as being expensive, it is hideously enviromentally unfriendly.

    Some things you just can't avoid. Availability of Australian port can be a bit hit and miss (at PnS at least) so the only alternative is pork from China. But also some things are only available from China - eg. coriander, Chinese veges like Bok Choy (that's what I call it anyway), etc.

    I agree that you just don't know what goes into the production of food in China and I have no faith whatsoever that PnS check it properly. If they can't detect rotting food on their own shelves, they can't properly monitor food in China. Frankly, butcher/meat shops in unrefridgerated wet markets is just plain unhygenic and vile.

    I suppose all you can do is minimise what you eat from sources you can't trust.

  5. #5
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    Miaka, Actually I get most of my news on line because frankly i don't believe a lot of what is in the papers here. HK seems to kowtow to the Mainland a lot. Like recently the story of the man putting cardboard into pork something or other and selling it. It was retracted the next day as a lie, which I don't believe..

    I agree that other countries have issues too. For example I avoid meat from the US. But I still think that China follows its own rules when it comes to the production process or perhaps its just as Bekyboo44 says, they have the rules in place just don’t enforce as they should. There was the other recent story of dodgy pet food. The gov denied that it came from China immediately but then had to retract it when the company responsible owned up to it. There were stories of toothpaste and on another thread I just read that there were problems with baby formula made in China that led to the death of some babies. Maybe we're spoilt in Australia but you simply don't hear stories like that happening at home.

    And then if you start to consider all the counterfeit products, everything from luxury goods to medicine, I don't see how any one could say that China plays by the same rules as other countries. I don't hear of any other country forcing companies that want to do business in China to reveal how they make their products as a prerequisite to doing business there....

    But a big part of the blame lies with us westerners. We are addicted to cheap goods (think of how successful wal-mart is) so there will always be a financial incentive for China to keep doing what it does.

  6. #6
    miaka is offline Registered User
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    aussiegal, i also read all my news online. I remember a story about nestle (a long time ago) where they made a baby formula that didn't have enuf nutrition. so it got pulled from the shelves. this incident lead to the US gov putting regulations on baby formula (a good thing) but in the end, instead of throwing out the bad formula, nestle sold it to 3rd world countries and advertised it as better than breast milk. (a bad thing).

    you're very lucky that you don't have such problems in australia. =) i agree with the other responses above that china does have rules, but they aren't enforced. i still have hope that it will get better. since moving here to hk, i've seen this other side of the US and feel that i've been living in a bubble. i don't trust the US gov as much as i used to, but i still try to be optimistic (in regards to the US and China - maybe a bit naive of me).

    if you're worried about the food from china and you can afford it, just get imports. nothing better than your own peace of mind. i got some fruit/veg wash at city super and use it to wash my produce. no idea if it really works, but it makes me feel better. good luck!

  7. #7
    Matty is offline Registered User
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    Ever since seeing a documentary on food production in China, I just can't bring myself to eat anything from there.
    The investigator used a hidden camera, and I saw with my own eyes steamed pork buns being made with a combination of meat mixed with cardboard that had been soaked in ammonia!
    The list of other horror stories was long!

    The difference with food scares in the rest of the world compared to China, is that in the rest of the world it is a mistake, where as a lot of it in China is deliberate, to cut costs.

    If a food scare occurs in the US or Australia, it can cost millions and ruin their reputations forever, as yet in China, there are few consequences.

  8. #8
    Neha is offline Banned
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    The card board story was a lie, the person who did that is in Jail. I agree that there is lot of bad stuff out of China, but really it is not possible to cut everything made in China and I firmly beleive if anything bad is to to happen will happen irrespective of how many precautions u take. That doesnot mean that u dont precautions . I just feel that things are getting blown out of proportion here. I am careful what we eat etc but atthe same time I am not paranoid

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