China Orders Halt to Red Meat Imports From Several Australian Meatworks

Sarina Locke
ABC
China has temporarily banned beef exports from six Australian meatworks, the Federal Government has confirmed.

In Push for G.M.O.s, China Battles Fears of 8-Legged Chickens

Amie Tsang and Cao Li
New York Times
China has ambitions to be a major player in genetically modified food, but first it needs to dispel images of poisoned seeds and contaminated fields

How China’s Progress is Killing the Instant Noodle

Adam Minter
Sydney Morning Herald
As China's economy has slowed, so too has its appetite for instant noodles...

Media

09.23.16

In China, Organic Food Is Gaining Ground

Wan Li, a young Beijing professional in her late 20s, is at her desk when her cell phone rings. She picks up. “North entrance?” She confirms. “I’ll be right out.” An electric delivery scooter has just pulled up to Wan’s office with her order of...

China Will Resume Imports of U.S. Beef After a Ban Long Seen as Political

Hannah Beech
Time
For an American industry that relies increasingly on global demand, the news is welcome

China Corn Shortages Loom Despite Bulging Silos

Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
Discontinuing a minimum price policy in March distorted global markets and packed expensive grain into state reserves.

China: No, We Are Not Sending Cans of Human Flesh to Africa

Adam Taylor
Washington Post
China's ambassador to Zambia released a statement, seeking to battle misinformation that was harming China's reputation in Africa...

Chinese Police Uncover Huge Fake Jellyfish 'Scam'

Martin Yip
BBC
Police in eastern China have raided two fake jellyfish workshops, saying more than 10 tonnes is thought to have made its way into local food markets.

Books

10.07.15

Unmade in China

Jeremy R. Haft
If you look carefully at how things are actually made in China—from shirts to toys, apple juice to oil rigs—you see a reality that contradicts every widely-held notion about the world’s so-called economic powerhouse. From the inside looking out, China is not a manufacturing juggernaut. It’s a Lilliputian. Nor is it a killer of American jobs. It’s a huge job creator. Rising China is importing goods from America in such volume that millions of U.S. jobs are sustained through Chinese trade and investment. In Unmade in China, entrepreneur and Georgetown University business professor Jeremy R. Haft lifts the lid on the hidden world of China’s intricate supply chains. Informed by years of experience building new companies in China, Haft’s unique, insider’s view reveals a startling picture of an economy which struggles to make baby formula safely, much less a nuclear power plant. Using firm-level data and recent case studies, Unmade in China tells the story of systemic risk in Chinese manufacturing and why this is both really bad and really good news for America. —Polity Press{chop}

Environment

06.24.15

High Off the Hog

Stefani Kim
Hongshaorou—“red braised” pork belly, a classic Chinese dish—is cooked with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce until the squares of fatty meat are so tender they dissolve in the mouth. Once a luxury, this succulent delicacy was known to be a favorite...

100,000 Tons of Smuggled Meat, Some From 1970s, Seized Across China

Crystal Tse
New York Times
Smuggled frozen meat has been seized across China, some of it more than 40 years old and valued at up to $483 million. ...

Environment

05.08.15

It’s Time to Fix China’s Food Safety Conundrum

from chinadialogue
Food safety scandals have become so common in China that people are losing confidence in what they eat. The government has consistently emphasised the need for better regulation of the food industry, and it’s established an inter-ministerial...

Chinese High School Students Riot Over Mass Food Poisoning

Wei Ling
Radio Free Asia
Thousands of disgruntled students smashed up their high school campus in Guizhou in the early hours of March 20 .

Reports

03.02.15

China’s Long March To Safe Drinking Water

Hongqiao Liu
China Water Risk
China’s central government set ambitious goals to safeguard water quality in 2011, at the outset of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015). Those goals targeted improvements from source-to-tap, earmarking a budget of nearly RMB 700 billion (U.S.$112...

Sinica Podcast

10.17.14

China Daddy Issues

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
We’ve all heard about the difficulty of finding good schools in China, and know first hand about the food and air safety problems. But what about the terrors of pedestrian crossings, the dilemmas of how much trust you should inculcate in your kids,...

Environment

10.16.14

‘Paranoia’ and Public Opinion

Sam Geall from chinadialogue
When permits for Chinese researchers to grow genetically modified rice and corn expired this summer, there was concern. More so, given there was little indication that the Ministry of Agriculture would renew them.The certificates, issued in 2009,...

Environment

09.10.14

The Dark Side of the Boom

Isabel Hilton from chinadialogue
Just over a year ago, in July 2013, a report published in the U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, put the health impacts of air pollution in China into an unusually clear framework: residents of south China, the report said...

Environment

08.12.14

China Grows An Interest in Organic Foods

Michael Zhao
Late last month, news broke that a major Chinese supplier of American fast food brands was peddling meat that violated food safety standards.How do such scandals affect the way people in China feed themselves and their families? Chang Tianle, a...

Meat-Supplier’s CEO Apologizes for China Unit

LAURIE BURKITT and JACOB BUNGE
Wall Street Journal
OSI Group Inc., the Ilinois-based parent of the Shanghai operation under scrutiny, dispatched a team of its “global experts” to address the problems in China as its CEO vowed that the “completely unacceptable” missteps wouldn't happen again...

Five Held in China Food Scandal Probe, Including Head of Shanghai Husi Food

BRENDA GOH AND PAUL CARSTEN
Reuters
The five detained include the head of the company—Shanghai Husi Food Co Ltd, a unit of U.S.-based OSI Group LLC—and the firm’s quality manager, the police said in an online statement. It gave no other details.

China Food Scandal Spreads, Drags in Starbucks, Burger King and McNuggets in Japan

ADAM JOURDAN
Reuters
McDonald’s Corp and KFC’s parent Yum Brands Inc apologized to Chinese customers on Monday after it emerged that Shanghai Husi Food Co Ltd, a unit of U.S.-based OSI Group LLC, had supplied expired meat to the two chains.

The 2008 Milk Scandal Revisited

Yanzhong Huang
Council on Foreign Relations
Since the regulation of food safety incorporates several mutually reinforcing activities and involves various stakeholders, it is highly unlikely that pure top-down, state-centric regulatory and legal frameworks will be sufficient to defuse China’s...

Environment

07.17.14

The Legacy of Hunan’s Polluted Soils

from chinadialogue
This is the second of a special three-part series of investigations jointly run by chinadialogue and Yale Environment 360 with the support of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. You can also read parts one and three.Cao Fushe spent much of 2013...

Environment

07.17.14

China Faces Long Battle to Clean Polluted Soil

from chinadialogue
This is the third of a special three-part series of investigations jointly run by chinadialogue and Yale Environment 360 with the support of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. You can also read parts one and two.Luo Jinzhi is 52 and lives in...

Environment

07.03.14

The Victims of China’s Soil Pollution Crisis

from chinadialogue
This is the first of a special three-part series of investigations jointly run by chinadialogue and Yale Environment 360, with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. You can also read parts two and three.When Zhang Junwei’s uncle died...

Costco Keeps Selling Treats From China Despite Dog Death

Kathy Tomlinson
CBC News
Costco is under fire for continuing to sell pet jerky treats from China, despite being warned by an owner whose veterinarian believes treats purchased there killed her Yorkshire terrier puppy.

Reports

02.01.14

Food Safety in China: A Mapping of Problems, Governance and Research

Jennifer Holdaway and Lewis Husain
The Social Science Research Council
Food safety has become an issue of great concern in China over the last few years. Media reporting has tended to focus on extreme cases of poisoning from food additives or contamination by heavy metals, but food safety encompasses a wide range of...

Wal-Mart Recalls Fake Donkey-Meat Snacks in China

Don Lee
Los Angeles Times
Some months ago, rat meat was passed off as strips of lamb in China. Now it's fox sold as donkey-meat snacks. And in the middle of the latest Chinese food scare: Wal-Mart. ...

Don’t Trust a Chicken Nugget That’s Visited China

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
China’s poultry processors have no intention of meeting U.S. food-safety standards. That may explain why the U.S. Department of Agriculture waited until just before the long weekend to announce that it had ended a ban on...

Caixin Media

09.10.13

Sober Day Dawns for China’s Baijiu Distillers

Distillers of China’s most popular spirits, baijiu, are sobering up to a business slowdown and tight financing after a decade of outstanding growth.Sales are off and company market values have fallen over the past year, prompting some investors to...

Caixin Media

08.12.13

China’s Urban Sludge Dilemma: Sinking in Stink

Promptly at noon on March 17, a heavy truck hauling a dark substance and on a dark mission pulled out of the Gaobeidian Wastewater Treatment Plant in eastern Beijing.A wastewater treatment engineer helped a Caixin reporter identify the unusual load...

Life in a Toxic Country

Edward Wong
New York Times
Before this assignment, I reported from Iraq, where foreign correspondents talked endlessly of the variety of ways in which one could die. I survived those threats, only now to find myself wondering: Is China doing irreparable harm to me and my...

Environment

06.20.13

China’s GM Soybean Imports Stir Up Controversy

from chinadialogue
Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, has been awash with criticisms of the Ministry of Agriculture’s decision to green light imports of three more strains of genetically modified (GM) soybeans. A picture&nbsp...

Changing China Food Safety Key to Shuanghui on Smithfield

Bloomberg
“If we go and purchase businesses from America and Europe, develop China’s meat industry, we will raise the level and standard of our food safety,” said Wang Long, Shuanghui’s chairman. 

Mapping Chinese Food Scandals on New Art from Ai Weiwei

Gwynn Guilford, Ritchie King and Herman...
Quartz
The staff at Quartz magazine have mapped the locations of various prominent food scandals that have hit China in the last few years, projected on top of Ai Weiwei’s “Baby Formula 2013” art installation.

Why Americans Should Worry About China’s Food Safety Problems

Stanley Lubman
Wall Street Journal
Chinese food product imports to the U.S. are continuing to rise, but inspections in both China and the U.S. aren’t keeping pace, posing a growing danger to consumers.  

Environment

05.23.13

Food Safety Scandals Bring Reality-Check to “Chinese Dream”

from chinadialogue
In the wake of China’s recent food scandal, Chinese premier Li Keqiang has vowed to enforce the toughest food safety regulations.“We need to crack down on practices that violate laws and regulations with a heavy fist, and make the lawbreakers pay an...

Tainted Rice Scandal Hits Guangzhou Eateries

Zheng Caixiong
China Daily
The Guangzhou Food and Drug Administration launced an inspection campaign in recent weeks and found the cadmium content of six batches of rice and another two batches of rice noodles exceeded national standards.  

Conversation

05.14.13

Why Can’t China Make Its Food Safe?—Or Can It?

Alex Wang, John C. Balzano & more
The month my wife and I moved to Beijing in 2004, I saw a bag of oatmeal at our local grocery store prominently labeled: “NOT POLLUTED!” How funny that this would be a selling point, we thought.But 7 years later as we prepared to return to the US,...

Media

05.07.13

Rat Meat Masquerading as Lamb—Yet Another Food Safety Scandal

Rat meat + gelatin + red food coloring + nitrates = lamb. Have you tried it yet?“This is what a ‘complete’ sheep looks like,” reads a caption under the photoshopped image of a sheep with Jerry, the mouse from Tom and Jerry, as its head. The image...

Environment

03.18.13

Baby Milk Restrictions Cause Outrage in Mainland China

from chinadialogue
The Hong Kong government’s recent listing of baby formula as a “reserved commodity” and a 1.8kg per person per day export limit has sparked widespread criticism—as well as becoming a hot topic at China’s annual session of parliament [the Lianghui,...

Caixin Media

03.02.13

Poison Eaters of Gansu Province

Barely any rainfall on a bone-dry landscape has always made crop farming in the province of Gansu a rough gamble between the sky and local irrigation policies. But now, farmers reap only sorrow from fields that experts say are severely contaminated...

Environment

02.07.13

Xi Jinping Must Tackle Corruption and Boost Innovation in Food Sector

from chinadialogue
In January 2013, Australia’s biggest supermarket chain Woolworths began restricting sales of baby formula to four tins per customer after a massive increase in demand stripped shelves bare of popular brands such as Karicare.The buyers were not...

Caixin Media

01.19.13

Shandong’s Slippery Gutter Oil Man

It’s oil with an extra something, but there’s nothing virgin about it. Pumped from sewers outside restaurants and drained from dumpsters, it’s cooking oil born from waste both human and mechanical.Known in China as “gutter oil,” it’s commonly used...

China-Made Treats Linked to Dog Deaths

Amy Worden
Philadelphia Inquirer
News late last week that China-made dog treats have been linked to the deaths of 360 dogs - and 1 cat - and sickened another 2,000 should prompt pet owners to do one thing: read the labels. The...

Environment

08.30.12

Milk Price War Puts Squeeze on China’s Dairy Farmers

from chinadialogue
China’s dairy industry has been in a precarious state since 2008, the year of the Sanlu milk-powder scandal, when babies across the country were poisoned by melamine-tainted infant formula. This incident revealed to the world the flaws in China’s...

Food in China: A Chemical Age

Gong Jing, Cui Zheng, Wang Qingfeng
chinadialogue
Wang Shiping, a food-science doctoral tutor at China Agricultural University explained that farmers couldn’t have come up with the idea of using melamine in milk to give the appearance of high protein levels, nor could the average technician. That...

Caixin Media

06.20.12

China’s Food Fright

There’s no denying that the gastronomic horizons of Chinese cuisines sometimes verge on the infinite. But on factors of food quality, there’s little subtlety or nuance for safety standards.In the past five years, the number of public food and drug...

Wal-Mart in China Faces New Food-Safety Complaints

Laurie Burkitt
Wall Street Journal
Beijing's Food Safety Administration said Thursday that it accused Wal-Mart of violating food-safety standards in March by selling sesame oil exceeding standard amounts of benzopyrene and squid containing hazardous levels of cadmium. The agency...

Media

06.04.12

Food Paradise or Hell: A New Documentary Sparks Debate

Sun Yunfan & Qiaoyi Zhuang
A seven-part documentary on China’s food culture, “A Bite of China” (which translated literally means “China on the Tip of the Tongue”) premiered on the main channel of China Central Television (CCTV-1) on May 14, 2012 and became an instant...

Sinica Podcast

01.13.12

Year-End Roundup

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
It was the year of the housing market (up then down), Ai Weiwei’s imprisonment, Wukan, the Wenzhou train crash, air pollution, gutter oil, tainted milk, clenbuterol, China bulls and bears, government transparency, the soaring price of Maotai, Guo...

Sinica Podcast

09.23.11

The Gutter Oil Podcast

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
“It was really distressing for me to talk to a WHO expert and have him tell me, ‘I have no idea where it’s safe to buy food here ...’” — Sharon LaFraniere.When Luoyang journalist Li Xiang broke China’s latest food scandal last week, exposing the...

Sinica Podcast

08.19.11

Not in My Backyard

Kaiser Kuo, Josh Chin & more from Sinica Podcast
While some Chinese media have flown into high dudgeon over allegations of sun-exposed hamburger buns at McDonalds, powder-based soy milk at KFC, and pork broth made from concentrate at Ajisen, a more grassroots protest gained notice across China...

Sinica Podcast

10.29.10

When Media Attacks

Gady Epstein, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, we find out what happens when the media attacks and China is caught in the crossfire. Specifically, recent weeks have brought us two prominent cases of bad press for China as the country gets caught in loaded battles fought by...

Reports

03.01.08

Advancing Food Safety in China

Kennett Werner
United Nations
Over the past year, intense media attention has focused on food safety in the People’s Republic of China. Since the headlines broke, the government of China has been quick to respond, both highlighting the work it was already doing and taking many...