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WTF is Wrong with Chinese industry?


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WTF is Wrong with Chinese industry?
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Moogs
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Join Date: May 2004
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2007-06-01, 20:46

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6714257.stm

Last year it was cough syrup contaminated with toxic chemicals, this year millions of dog and cat food products containing hazardous by-products, now toothpaste with more DEG in it all over south, central and possibly north America. Are they *trying* to kill us or do they just not give a shit as long as they sell, sell, sell? Based on my readings, first hand accounts of others and this, I am convinced the Chinese have no concept of hygiene, quality control for ingestible products, or business ethics.

Western companies should take this as a serious sign that the Chinese are not ready to do business with the real world when it comes to ingestible products. Microchips are one thing... we don't eat microchips. Time for corporate America to play hardball with these people.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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Banana
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2007-06-01, 20:56

Well, here's a consolation for you.
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pscates2.0
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2007-06-01, 21:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post
...I am convinced the Chinese have no concept of hygiene, quality control for ingestible products, or business ethics.
If I said that, I'd probably get banned. Or, at the very least, deluged with dozens of and -laden replies.



But seriously, sounds like some worrisome stuff. Must have a breakdown in some testing or regulations at some of the plants there recently. I don't know.

It's been everywhere, though. I still can't get my favorite brand of peanut butter, Peter Pan, because it's been removed from the shelves for some similar problems. And we had the spinach situation a few months back. I've had to resort to Jif for my sandwich needs, and it just ain't the same.

But, like many other things (crime, youth violence, general acts of nuttiness, Florida shark attacks, mountain climbers getting stranded and eating their own foot to survive, etc.) is it truly an increase or "explosion" in this sort of stuff (tainted food and other products), or has the media simply latched onto it (their "shark attack" of 2007) and reporting the hell out of each and every little case, because that's the kick they're on lately?



I don't know, I'm asking.
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alcimedes
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2007-06-01, 21:40

Both.

I think it's important enough though that I don't mind the media whoring themselves on this case.
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Luca
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2007-06-01, 22:11

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post
I am convinced the Chinese have no concept of hygiene, quality control for ingestible products, or business ethics.
Spot on. I've been living here for over 8 months and nothing has convinced me otherwise.

Hygiene? Nope. You know all the stereotypes about Chinese peoples' teeth? They're true, more often than not. Also, they don't shower often, but that's because they barely sweat at all, so they get some leeway there.

Quality control? Nope. Shit's broken here all the time. If something "kinda works," I just accept it as being good enough and don't bother trying to get it fixed, because the bureaucracy behind getting things fixed is incredible.

Ethics? HELL no. I don't even need to explain this one, especially to you, Moogs.

China should be considered a toxic wasteland by food companies in North America and Europe - the food I eat here is grown by local people and cooked by local people, but the stuff from factories? I don't trust it. I know I eat food from factories here too, but I try to focus on just getting basic vegetable and meat dishes from small, family-owned restaurants. These people buy their ingredients from the markets in this area, and those markets sell food that was grown by farmers in this province. I can go to the same markets that restaurant owners go to, so I feel relatively safe eating at those places.

But man, things here are really bad sometimes. Like I said, the bureaucracy is incredible. My mother (who also spent quite a bit of time here) described it well when she told me that pretty much no one ever thinks ahead or considers the possible consequences of their actions. This ranges all the way from minor decisions that people make every day to huge decisions by big companies. Things like idiots pushing their way onto crowded buses and trains before letting others get off first (if you would wait two seconds there would be more room for you, dumbass). Or then there's the small English school for children I visited - they brought five potential teachers in to see the school, and then said that they needed four of us to come in and teach within three days. Most of us had plans and couldn't make it, and they were all confused and didn't know what to do. Of course if they had thought ahead, they would have brought in eight or ten potential teachers in order to make sure they'd have four teachers on short notice.

So yeah, sometimes I wonder how China has become as powerful as it is, with most people in the country stumbling along blindly. I think it's mainly because the government is unencumbered (for better or for worse, mostly for worse) by the democratic process, and because most people here are poor and will take any work they can get while never questioning whether things ought to be different.
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joveblue
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2007-06-01, 23:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca View Post
So yeah, sometimes I wonder how China has become as powerful as it is, with most people in the country stumbling along blindly. I think it's mainly because the government is unencumbered (for better or for worse, mostly for worse) by the democratic process, and because most people here are poor and will take any work they can get while never questioning whether things ought to be different.
It's coz they're f****** big.
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BlueRabbit
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2007-06-02, 01:28

They're just trying to distract us until they can get this to work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IMDB
A Chinese general goes berserk and has a system of tunnels made all the way from China to USA, under the Pacific Ocean! Wherever there is an important military base, he places atomic bombs...
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Windswept
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2007-06-02, 16:56

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post
Based on my readings, first hand accounts of others and this, I am convinced the Chinese have no concept of hygiene, quality control for ingestible products, or business ethics.

Western companies should take this as a serious sign that the Chinese are not ready to do business with the real world when it comes to ingestible products. Microchips are one thing... we don't eat microchips. Time for corporate America to play hardball with these people.
I completely agree, Moogs.

I read this article from the LA Times a few days ago:

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/...tory?track=rss

Quote:
From a Chinese oil refinery to your Twinkie

Food makers don't often know where the chemicals in their products come from.

WHEN I began researching the ingredients for Twinkies, I naively thought that their raw materials were extracted from nuts, beans, fruit, seeds or leaves, and that they came from the United States. I was looking to link places with foods — along the lines of California wine or Maine lobster, but for thiamine mononitrate. It turned out that I was way off.

Although eight of the ingredients in the beloved little snack cake come from domestic corn and three from soybeans, there are others — including thiamine mononitrate — that come from petroleum. Chinese petroleum. Chinese refineries and Chinese factories. And there are other unexpected ingredients that are much harder to trace. So much for the great "All-American" snack food.

When you bite into a Twinkie, you are chewing on an international nexus of suppliers. Most of our processed foods — salad dressing, ice cream, meal-replacement drinks — are processed with foreign additives: essential ones, like B vitamins for fortifying flour and the preservative sorbic acid, as well as Malaysian or Indonesian palm oil products, European wheat gluten, Peruvian colorants, Chadian gums and Swiss niacin, made from Swiss water, Swiss air (nitrogen) and North Atlantic or Middle Eastern oil. It's a nice contrast to recall that Champagne comes only from Champagne, France.

Like many other industries, food additives have been off-shored. No major domestic vitamin or sorbic acid manufacturers remain in the U.S. Our last vitamin C plant closed in 2005 — in fact, it closed as I was speaking to an employee about a tour — and most of our artificial colors and flavors come from abroad as well. Our chemical industry is rapidly dismantling its expensive domestic plants and either forming joint ventures with Chinese companies or simply buying chemicals from them. This leads to lower food and pharmaceutical prices, but perhaps at the cost of quality control.

How can you have quality control when you don't even know where the ingredient is coming from? During my Twinkie research, I was particularly surprised that many American food additive "manufacturers" buy chemicals, especially vitamins, from distributors and do not know, or don't ask, where they come from. The distributors usually sing the same song, as they often buy from importers, and the importers buy from exporters who — no surprise — are often not able or willing to identify all of their sources.

Now that the tainted pet food scandal has made us more aware that many additives come from overseas, and China in particular — and that some unscrupulous or, at the very least, unprofessional Chinese manufacturers mix cheaper and poisonous adulterants into some food or pharmaceutical products — most of us would like to see some action. What can be done?

[see link for remainder of article]
All the above provides a final push to get me back to consuming "certified organic natural foods" as the only relatively safe way to eat. Costs more, but at least I'll know I'm not eating antifreeze or a chemical for making plastics.

Again, I'm just astounded that the American companies who buy these unresearched additives put money and their profits above the health of all the citizens of their own country - including, apparently, their own children. Or maybe they give their kids a list of stuff 'not' to eat.

Greed is just so unbelievably disgusting.

*retch*

And a final caution about buying ingestible products sold at bargain basement prices. The prices are that low for a reason.
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drewprops
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2007-06-02, 21:16

There's a good reason that the food supply is mentioned in Homeland Security warnings. The LA Times article Carol mentions is electrifying.
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scratt
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2007-06-02, 21:35

For what it is worth, for simple hygiene and comfort, I choose which airlines I travel on in Asia so that I minimise my contact with Chinese and Indians. I know that is a sweeping generalisation, and going to get me some flak here, but I simply don't enjoy going to the toilet on an aircraft (at the best of times), and hate it even more when the floor is swimming with tissue paper, wee, and other things I hate to mention... The only common factor I can find on many aircraft and those conditions is the close proximity of a lot of people from either of those countries.. Even though I am sure that probably once the toilet goes to pot everyone throws some into the mix...

I know that *all* Chinese, and *all* Indians are not like that, however, until the vast majority of a nation cannot sort out their toilet habits I certainly will not be buying food made in their factories...

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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Kickaha
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2007-06-02, 21:38

You mean they throw their butts on the floor?

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scratt
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2007-06-02, 21:47

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post
You mean they throw their butts on the floor?

Quite literally (the contents thereof) in some cases I think.

[But I get your drift - what a long memory you have. ]
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Luca
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2007-06-02, 21:50

The Chinese are used to pooping in holes in the ground. They even make flush toilets (well, calling them flush toilets is being generous, but they do have a flushing mechanism) that are set in the floor so you have to squat way down to use them. So it's not just necessity that dictates the style of toilet, they actually prefer them that way. And yes, pee gets on the floor because you're so far from the target that there's bound to be some spray.

Toilets here truly are fucking disgusting. The only one I really trust is the one in my own apartment. In fact, I think I can count out the number of times I've had to use a toilet outside of my apartment, dorm, or (when I was on vacation) hotel room. None of the experiences were pleasant. Hell, even the toilets in McDonald's smell awful. The entire upper floor (where the bathroom is) smells like piss and not-effective-enough deodorant.

What I've heard is that since Chinese people are used to the hole in the ground, they don't like the idea of putting their ass on the same seat where someone else was sitting. So I think some of them try to "hover" over normal toilets, which means they miss. Just like how they miss when they use Chinese toilets. It's really gross and it doesn't make any sense, but I guess if that's all you've ever known your whole life...
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scratt
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2007-06-02, 21:55

Pretty similar here in Thailand (and Japan too) in the rural areas, Luca. The difference is that the Thais / Japanese do manage to keep them clean. They also have this great "bum squirter" thing by toilets (both squat and western).

On a recent business trip to Singapore I felt unclean all day because I went to the loo (a lovely clean Singaporean western style loo) to take a dump, and could not do anything but wipe my ass with paper.. I wanted to go back to my hotel and take a shower afterwards..

If I ever do leave Thailand as my main home base then I will be taking a bag load of those 'bum squirters' and forcing my entire range of family and friends to install them in their houses!

On a lighter note, when you see what the Chinese are willing to put in their mouths and eat, I am suprised they are so prudish about where they stick their buts!

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt

Last edited by scratt : 2007-06-02 at 22:10.
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Kickaha
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2007-06-02, 22:05

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt View Post
Quite literally (the contents thereof) in some cases I think.

[But I get your drift - what a long memory you have. ]
I'm just messin' wit' ya.

My Mom goes to China on a regular basis for business, and ZOMG the stories she's had... and these from a woman who thinks a four-star hotel is slumming it.

In France.

(I still say I'm adopted.)

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
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Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.
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ast3r3x
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2007-06-02, 22:25

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windswept View Post
All the above provides a final push to get me back to consuming "certified organic natural foods" as the only relatively safe way to eat. Costs more, but at least I'll know I'm not eating antifreeze or a chemical for making plastics.
Another reason that "local" is the new "organic." I like that I live in an area where I have farmers markets around. Pesticides, maybe, could go with local & organic but that is even more expensive. Plus local foods taste better.

Local is the way to go, we should work on pressuring our food to be grown to taste better, not to be able to be transported more easily.
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Moogs
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2007-06-02, 22:39

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windswept View Post
I completely agree, Moogs.

I read this article from the LA Times a few days ago:

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/...tory?track=rss

Again, I'm just astounded that the American companies who buy these unresearched additives put money and their profits above the health of all the citizens of their own country - including, apparently, their own children. Or maybe they give their kids a list of stuff 'not' to eat.

Greed is just so unbelievably disgusting.

*retch*
Seriously, that article is f-ing scary. That article should be run in every major daily in America and the networks, starting with Oprah need to jump ALL OVER this and embarrass the shit out of the food conglomerates and vitamin companies. Really make them out to be be profiteering scumbags so their executives start to panic a little.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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alcimedes
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2007-06-02, 22:59

I've been avoiding food products that aren't made in the US for a while now.

This only makes me feel better about it.
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scratt
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2007-06-03, 00:21

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcimedes View Post
I've been avoiding food products that aren't made in the US for a while now.

This only makes me feel better about it.
No offense, but I don't think that necessarily makes you any safer... Only more able to sue if required!
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Mugge
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2007-06-03, 04:37

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt View Post
(...) "bum squirter" (...)
WTF is bum sqirter?!

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scratt
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2007-06-03, 05:12

Like a small showerhead which has a squeeze button. You squirt it at your buthole after a poo... Only for countries with warm water I guess! It's routed in to your plumbing behind the loo.

Once you get used to using them then you feel really really dirty if you simply wipe with tissue... Even before I discovered them I would try to make sure I take a dump once a day, *before* I showered is at all possible.

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
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joveblue
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2007-06-03, 07:03

You mean a bidet?
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scratt
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2007-06-03, 08:44

No it's simply a small shower head on a piece of hose, with a trigger to turn the water on and off. You aim it at your but hole like a gun, and fire...

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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ironlung
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2007-06-03, 09:04

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt View Post
No it's simply a small shower head on a piece of hose, with a trigger to turn the water on and off. You aim it at your but hole like a gun, and fire...
It is more commonly referred to as a 'muslim shower' i believe.

Last edited by ironlung : 2007-06-03 at 09:21.
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scratt
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2007-06-03, 09:22

Really? I never heard of that.. I assumed it was an Asian thing as I have only ever seen it in Asian countries.
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Banana
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2007-06-03, 09:45

If it was indeed called muslim shower, I'd have to say I find it very oxymoronic. You know how they look down at people who shake hands with left hand? This was rooted in the fact that in old time it was difficult to find leaves or anything to wipe your butt with, and water were precious in desert. Therefore they used left hand to wipe and that's why there's lot of cutoms about you handle your hands; keep your left hand under the eating table at all times, shaking with right hands and do not rub hands together, and then some more.
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Kickaha
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2007-06-03, 09:50

Oh I don't know - if a culture has a strong taboo against something due to an act of necessity, they're going to tend to want to get rid of the necessity of that act, y'know?

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
#IRC isn't old school.
Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.
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Banana
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2007-06-03, 10:03

Yeah. Good point.
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Moogs
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2007-06-03, 10:31

Don't derail my thread with talk of bum-squirting muslim showers damnit! This is about the jack-ass Chinese food suppliers and how they need to be clubbed upside the head with a side of frozen beef.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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Windswept
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2007-06-03, 12:22

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcimedes View Post
I've been avoiding food products that aren't made in the US for a while now.

This only makes me feel better about it.
Uh, alc... the article is *referring* to all the food products that are still made *IN AMERICA*.

Those "American-made" products, IF they use ANY kinds of additives (including added vitamins) or preservatives, those additives are now probably manufactured in China.

A box of 'Total' cereal, for example, has vitamins and other additives. According to the article, virtually ALL of those additives come from 'elsewhere', not the US.

And the cheapest source by far seems to be China. Why? Because they apparently skip all the expensive, time-consuming steps required for product purity.

Does this criminal laxity bother the American companies who purchase the Chinese-made additives? Apparently not. After all, their eye is... where else?... on the bottom line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post
Don't derail my thread with talk of bum-squirting muslim showers damnit! This is about the jack-ass Chinese food suppliers and how they need to be clubbed upside the head with a side of frozen beef.


Oh, Moogs, you're so funny.

Thanks for a great laugh!
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