Monday, May 24, 2010


China's ability to safeguard the health of its citizens from fraudsters and other quick-buck earning criminals indulging in activities that compromise food safety seems to be sorely stretched by the series of safety violations detected during the last two years. Latest incidence to add to the worries of Chinese safety enforcement authorities is the discovery of continued use of unsafe packing materials in spite of them being banned years ago. What is refreshing is the readiness of the government in exposing this before the public glare under a regime reputed for secrecy and information suppression.

"Authorities in China have seized more than seven million toxic disposable food containers, state media reported Wednesday, in the latest product safety scare to hit the nation. Seven companies in the eastern province of Jiangxi were busted for manufacturing the long-banned foam boxes using plastic waste and fluorescent whitening agents, the official China Daily newspaper said. Disposable food containers are routinely used by restaurants across China. Authorities banned foam boxes in 1999, but they can still be found in many parts of the country. The warmth of a hot meal causes toxic elements used to make the foam containers to seep into the food. Those substances can damage people's livers, kidneys and reproductive systems".

What is intriguing is the mental attitude of those who violate the government rules on food safety and indulge in such criminal activities knowing pretty well that they would be facing even threat of capital punishment, if and when they are caught. Probably psychologically every criminal has the over confidence that he will never be caught which leads to such risk taking behavior.

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