China OKs Entry of First Big Cargo of Argentine Corn

Hugh Bronstein
Bloomberg
Argentine Agriculture Minister Norberto Yauhar said Chinese health authorities cleared 60,000-tonnes of genetically modified (GMO) Argentine corn. The cargo is already headed inland to be used as hog and chicken feed. 

Environment

08.07.13

China’s Abandoned Steel Mills Are a Threat to Public Health

from chinadialogue
China’s steel industry has been in trouble since 2011, with numerous bankruptcies nationwide. The city of Tangshan in Hebei province has been no exception. Though the city is Hebei’s biggest steel maker, with its 70 million tons of annual production...

China Bans Milk Powder of Two South Pacific Nations

Reuters
Nearly 90 percent of China’s $1.9 billion in milk powder imports last year originated in New Zealand. Economists said a prolonged ban could produce a shortage of dairy products in China, including foreign-branded infant formula.

China May Let More Families Have Second Child, Xinhua Says

Alexandra Ho
Bloomberg
China is studying whether to relax its one-child policy to allow more couples to have two children, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

Chinese Court Rules Against J&J in Monopoly Suit

Joe McDonald
Associated Press
Health care giant Johnson & Johnson has become the latest global company accused of misconduct in China after a court ordered it to pay damages to a distributor in a lawsuit brought under an anti-monopoly law.

Corporate Sleuths On Edge After China Detains Foreign Consultants

Alexandra Harney
Reuters
The detention by Chinese authorities of a British corporate investigator and his American wife in the wake of a corruption probe into pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline has had a chilling effect on other risk consultants working...

Worker Group Alleges Abuses at Apple Supplier in China

Paul Mozur
Wall Street Journal
The report, set to be released on Monday by New York-based nonprofit China Labor Watch, alleges safety and environmental violations; the withholding of worker pay or the identification cards they need to work elsewhere; and poor living conditions.

Glaxo Chief Executive Addresses China Inquiry

Katie Thomas
New York Times
Andrew Witty, chief executive of the drug maker GlaxoSmithKline, said on Wednesday that the accusations of bribery and corruption against his company in China were “deeply disappointing.” But he said that Glaxo’s headquarters in London had not been...

More Foreign Pharmaceutical Firms Could Be Probed In China

Michael Martina
Reuters
China's official news agency hinted that more foreign pharmaceutical firms could soon be implicated in a corruption scandal sweeping the industry, in the wake of bribery accusations against British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline. ...

Drug Research in China Falls Under a Cloud

Katie Thomas
New York Times
A leaked document related to the recent G.S.K. scandal underscores the problems that can arise when major drug companies export their scientific development to emerging markets like China. 

China’s Reliance on Coal Reduces Life Expectancy by 5.5 Years

Jonathan Kaiman
Guardian
The study concluded that long-term exposure to air containing 100 micrograms of total suspended particles (T.S.P.) per cubic meter “is associated with a reduction in life expectancy at birth of about 3.0 years.” 

Conversation

07.03.13

How Would Accepting Gay Culture Change China?

Fei Wang & Steven Jiang
Last week's U.S. Supreme Court decision to strike down the core provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act is not only “a stride toward greater equality in the United States, but also a shift that will reverberate far beyond our shores,” wrote...

Sinica Podcast

06.29.13

The Fate of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Bill Bishop swears by part of it. Jeremy Goldkorn swears regularly at it. Chances are you’ve got strong opinions on Traditional Chinese Medicine (T.C.M.) yourself, which is why we’re delighted to be joined by James Palmer this week, author of The...

Study Asks if Tainted Chinese Herbs Are Harming, Not Healing

Sue-Lin Wong
New York Times
Chinese herbal medicine, an ancient tradition that is supposed to heal, may be doing the opposite: is it also harming people’s health and polluting the environment with pesticides, as a Greenpeace study released Monday suggests. The study...

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...

Fake Fake Drugs From China: What's Stopping a Cure for Malaria in Africa?

Kathleen Mclaughlin
Atlantic
Coupled with China's already bad rap as a producer of inferior goods such as cheap shoes, knock-off phones, and faulty condoms, the reputation of China's malaria cure is perched on a precipice. The Wellcome Trust and others...

China’s Alzheimer’s Time Bomb Revealed

Debora McKenzie
New Scientist
Cases of all kinds of age-related dementia in the country rose from 3.7 million in 1990 to 9.2 million in 2010. The figures are bad news for a country where 90 per cent of the elderly must be cared for by their families.   

New Idea for Sino-U.S. Relations: First-Lady Diplomacy

Julian Gewirtz
Atlantic
A potential partnership between the first ladies could go beyond forming a popular new image for the U.S.-China relationship. Obama and Peng have shown a mutual interest in areas of policy central to our shared future. 

Features

06.06.13

Bad Medicine

Kathleen McLaughlin
In 1967, as the United States sank into war in the jungles of Vietnam and China descended into the cataclysm of the Cultural Revolution, Chinese soldiers secretly fighting alongside the North Vietnamese also battled swarms of malarial mosquitoes...

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. 

Media

06.03.13

Online Outrage After Chinese City Proposes Fine on Single Mothers

Women giving birth out of wedlock in China have to contend with family pressure, social stigma, and financial hardship. Now, some of them may have to pay a hefty fine as well.Wuhan, a city of more than 10 million people in Central China, posted a...

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.

Africa’s Malaria Battle: Fake Drug Pipeline Undercuts Progress

Benoit Faucon, Colum Murphy, and Jeanne...
Wall Street Journal
A flourishing counterfeit drug trade is collateral damage from the fast-expanding ties that have turned China into Africa’s largest trading partner. The fakes’ place of origin is in Guangzhou, though the source is unknown.  &...

Wariness Over a Deal Intended to Deliver More Pork to China

Stephanie Strom
New York Times
Smithfield Foods, one of the biggest and oldest pork producers in the U.S., agreed to sell itself to Shuanghui International, one of China’s largest meat processors. The two emphasized that the deal aimed to increase the supply of...

Media

05.28.13

Trending on Weibo: #AIDSPatientsCanBeTeachers#

In the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, carriers of the AIDS virus are now allowed to teach schoolchildren. The recently-announced change in regulations marks a step forward for AIDS activists, with the hashtag #AIDSPatientsCanBeTeachers# now...

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.  

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.  

Media

05.17.13

Chinese Anxiety—In Debate About Overwork, a Glimpse of Shifting Expectations

Almost half of all Chinese report feeling “more anxiety” now than they did five years ago. What, exactly, is driving these concerns, or increasing reports of these concerns? Avid followers of China-related news might immediately think of censorship...

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,...

Reports

05.14.13

“Swept Away”: Abuses Against Sex Workers in China

Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch believes the Chinese government should take immediate steps to protect the human rights of all people who engage in sex work. It should repeal the host of laws and regulations that are repressive and misused by the police, and end...

How Much Should We Fear H7N9

Patrick Di Justo
New Yorker
Based on the virulence, or severity of the illness that the virus causes; and the communicability, or how easily the virus is passed from person to person, we shouldn’t be losing sleep over H7N9. 

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...

Media

05.01.13

The Long Battle Over “White Pollution”

In the past weeks, Chinese citizens have learned that the styrofoam boxes from which they eat their lunches will soon be legal. On February 16, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s highest economic policy-making body,...

Beijing Air Laden With Arsenic, Other Heavy Metals

Yan Shuang
Global Times
Such heavy metals can damage the nervous system and cause cardiovascular disease and cancer, according to a report by a joint team of Greenpeace members and scholars from Peking University that tested the capital’s air over a 15-day period. 

Sinica Podcast

04.26.13

Healthcare in China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
The state of healthcare in China is in many ways better than it was in the era of the barefoot doctors, with average life expectancy in the country now trailing the United States by only three years and morbidity rates far lower too. But while even...

China Cooperating With International Organizations On H7N9

Xinhua
Premier Li Keqiang said China is cooperating closely with WHO and other international organizations on the H7N9 avian flu. The government attaches great importance to public health and has been working to effectively prevent and control...

As Cancer Rates Rise In China, Trust Remains Low

Didi Kristen Tatlow
New York Times
At the top of the list of reasons China may be facing a cancer crisis is the crucial issue of mistrust between patient and doctor. The lack of trust, reflected in regular accounts in the Chinese news media, is rooted in a perception that...

No Poultry Contact In Some Chinese Bird Flu Cases

Stephanie Nebehay and Sui-Lee Wee
Reuters
W.H.O. spokesman Gregory Hartl confirmed that “there are people who have no history of contact with poultry”, after a top Chinese scientist was quoted as saying this applied to about 40 percent of those infected. 

Caixin Media

04.20.13

Bird Flu’s Latest Talons Force Fresh Defense

A surprise attack by a new strain of the bird flu virus has forced Chinese authorities into the trenches for a two-pronged defense against unseen enemies.The primary threat is the deadly virus that scientists identified as a new strain of H7N9. It...

Why Leave Job In Beijing? To Breathe

Laurie Burkitt and Brian Spegele
Wall Street Journal
The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China says air pollution is a key challenge facing companies here, and is an underlying reason why many expatriate workers choose to leave. 

Human Infection With Influenza A (H7N9) Virus In China

World Health Organization
At 2:00 PM 9 April 2013 there is no evidence of ongoing human-to-human transmission. W.H.O. does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event, nor does it recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be...

PLA Officer Calls H7N9 Virus A U.S. ‘Bio-Psychological Weapon’

Patrick Boehler
South China Morning Post
A senior military official has caused an outrage among netizens for calling the current avian flu outbreak in mainland China an American conspiracy and belittling a string of deaths from the virus.   

China Escalates Its Response To Outbreak Of Avian Flu

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
Chinese officials escalated their response, advising people to avoid live poultry, sending virologists to chicken farms across the country and slaughtering more than 20,000 birds at a wholesale market in Shanghai.  

New Bird Flu Strain Spreads In China As Fourth Dies

Simeon Bennett
Bloomberg
The extent of the outbreak, the source of infection and the mode of transmission are being investigated, and it’s too early to tell whether the cases may signal a pandemic, according to the W.H.O. 

Novel Bird Flu Kills Two In China

Declan Butler
Nature
Scientists stress that it is much too early to do a full risk assessment of the potential pandemic threat. But the initial analysis of viral sequences is “worrisome” because they show several features that are suggestive of adaptation to humans...

China Moves To Tackle Autism With First Study

Nick Compton
South China Morning Post
National health authorities have embarked on an ambitious, three-year, 32-million-yuan project to determine the prevalence of autism in China and charter new protocols for diagnoses and treatment. 

China’s Massive Water Problem

Scott Moore
New York Times
This Spring 2013 China is expected to finish the first phase of its gigantic South-North Water Transfer Project, though the project highlights the limits of engineering solutions to problems of basic environmental scarcity.&...

Conversation

04.03.13

Bird Flu Fears: Should We Trust Beijing This Time?

David Wertime, Yanzhong Huang & more
David Wertime:A new strain of avian flu called H7N9 has infected at least seven humans and killed three in provinces near the Chinese metropolis of Shanghai, with the first death occurring on March 4. Meanwhile, in the last month, about 16,000 pigs...

Reports

04.01.13

Enter the Dragon and the Elephant

Yanzhong Huang
Luo Xiaoyuan
Council on Foreign Relations
Among the emerging powers, China and India have long been critical to successfully addressing global health problems. Historically, infectious diseases that originated in either country have altered epidemiological patterns worldwide. The first...

The Myth Of The Superbaby

Will Oremus
Slate
The technique of preimplantation genetic testing, discussed in a March 2013 article in Vice magazine, is unlikely to be used to create hyperintelligent babies, but it will have an expanding role in avoiding disease likelihood in children.

As Pollution Worsens In China, Solutions Succumb To Infighting

Edward Wong
New York Times
As some officials push for tighter restrictions on pollutants, SOEs have been putting profits ahead of health in working to outflank new rules, according to government data and interviews with people involved in policy negotiations. 

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,...

Backed By Profit-Hungry Investors, New Approach To Farming Takes Root

Ma Yuan, Zheng Fei, Liu Ran, and Rong...
Investors in the country betting big on the organic concept have poured money into food producers and distributors, especially as food scandals make citizens more and more wary of familiar produce. 

Was S.A.R.S. Fallout A Lesson For China In Global Citizenship?

Peter Ford
Christian Science Monitor
The Chinese government’s views on transparency, in regards to issues of interational health, have changed drastically since the S.A.R.S. outbreak ten years ago, but some areas have yet to improve.

Media

03.12.13

Pig Carcasses in Shanghai River Spawn Dark Humor on Chinese Internet

The Huangpu River usually appears in glamor shots of Shanghai, serving as scenic backdrop to the colonial splendor of the Bund or the modern marvel of the Pudong skyline. But of late, a more grim and distasteful association has emerged. As of March...

Thousands Of Dead Pigs Found In River Flowing Into Shanghai

Edward Wong
New York Times
More than 3,300 dead pigs have been found in a major river that flows through Shanghai, igniting fears among city residents of contaminated tap water, according to official reports in March 2013. 

Choking To Death: Health Consequences Of Air Pollution in China

Yanzhong Huang
Council on Foreign Relations
 The number of lung cancer-caused mortality in China has increased by 465 percent in the past three decades, due to severe air pollution. 

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...

Media

02.22.13

China’s State-Run Media Shares Powerful Map of “Cancer Villages” Creeping Inland

It appears that Chinese environmental activism is going further mainstream. The Sina micro-blogging account of Global Times, a well-known Communist Party mouthpiece, has just shared news about the horrific proliferation of “cancer villages” in China...

SF Minister Spreads Gospel Of Sex In China

Don Lattin
San Francisco Chronicle
In March 2013, Rev. Ted McIlvenna will lead a delegation of 10 sex experts to China to help an emerging class of financially independent Chinese women achieve female sexual empowerment.