Howeve, he enomiy of China as foodpoduce, including an esimaed 900,000 individualfood-pocessing plans,
and he coninued, apid gowhof he couny’s food poducion, indicae ha much lag-e efoms ae needed wihin China’s egulaoy sucueo ensue food safey.
Meanwhile, FDA inspecos lac he esouces o pic uphe slac, and as a esul, dangeous impos flood in hecouny uncheced, puing consumes a is. Inceasinghe funding o FDA and amping up inspecions ae cucialseps o ensue ha he food we ea is safe and wholesome.Howeve, anohe poweful foce is woing agains heegulaion of Chinese food impos — he Wold tadeOganizaion.
Putting Trade Promotion BeforePublic Health
China joined he Wold tade Oganizaion in 2001, wel-comed by companies in he U.S. who envisioned a feeflow of Ameican expos ino China and he coninuedimpoaion of cheap poducs o Ameican consumes.the Office of he Unied Saes tade repesenaives boased o Congess in Decembe 2008 ha U.S. exposo China have inceased 240 pecen since 2001, laud-ing he new ade ageemen wih one small cavea foagiculual poducs.
“China emains among he leas anspaen and pedic-able of he wold’s majo maes fo agiculual pod-ucs, lagely because of selecive inevenion in he ma-e by China’s egulaoy auhoiies,” he epo saed.
Hee, UStr is concened abou egulaions only insofaas hey can a imes be “capicious” and “bedevil” Amei-can ades aemping o capialize on he enomous con-sume mae in China.
Absen fom he UStr epois any menion of he egulaoy deficiencies in Chinaha bedevil Ameican consumes, who buy and consumeChinese impos eveyday.robe B. Cassidy, a fome govenmen official in UStr, was quoed in he Washingon Pos in 2007 sayingha “so many U.S. companies ae diecly o indiecly involved in China now, he commecial inees of heUnied Saes hese days has become o allow impos ocome in as quicly and smoohly as possible,” which hasesuled in he US “owowing o China” despie conin-ued poblems wih food safey.
China’s food safey poblems go beyond chemical adul-eans in food pocessing, oo. USDA epos, “Chinesefuis and vegeables ofen have high levels of pesicideesidues, heavy meals and ohe conaminans. Wae,soil, and ai ae dangeously pollued in many ual aeasas a esul of heavy indusializaion and lax envionmen-al egulaion.”
Impoed poduce has been shown o be hee imes moeliely o conain he illness-causing baceia
han domesic poduce.
Addiionally, FDA found ha impoed fuis and vegeables wee wo ofou imes as liely o have illegal levels of pesicide esi-dues as domesic fuis and vegeables.
FDA lacs he capaciy o effecively monio he qual-iy and safey of Chinese impos, which included $100million of fesh fuis and vegeables in 2008 and aound$1.5 billion woh of juices and pocessed fuis and veg-eables.
Liewise, FDA has done lile o cuail imposof poduce o Chinese daiy poducs, which ae impoedfeely unde he WtO ade ageemen. When i was evealed las yea ha Chinese-made baby fomula laced wih melamine was causing infan deahs,nine counies, including Canada and Ausalia, empo-aily banned impos of Chinese daiy poducs,
send-ing a clea message o China ha is food safey poblems will no be oleaed. Consume goups in he U.S. unsuc-cessfully called on lawmaes o ae simila measues.Because of he WtO and he huge volume of ade be-ween he US and China, i is difficul fo he US o insi-ue moaoiums, bans and even amped-up inspecions wihou invoing sancions fom he WtO, which viewssuch measues as aificial ade baies. Such baies violae a diving foce behind he WtO — he fee flow of goods, no mae he cos o consume safey. In his way, he WtO ceaes anohe obsacle beween consum-es and safe food. As jus one example, in Mach of his yea, China com-plained o he WtO abou he Unied Saes’ ban on heimpoaion of Chinese pouly, a measue he U.S. oo on he gounds ha Chinese pouly is poduced in anunsafe manne.
In esponse, China has claimed ha he ban “violaes he basic ules of he WtO,”
and he coun-y coninues o use is leveage unde he ade agee-men o compel he U.S. o econside he ban.