Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Stop China!

As in many countries, the media have focused on recent safety issues with some Chinese-made products and food. Some have gone into hypocritical hysterics over it. It's about normal for the media I guess since it is primarily interested in scandal and entertainment (unless the scandal is from within the media.)

A week or so ago I noticed a new magazine in the cooking magazine area of the book store near Denenchofu station. The title is Prohibit China (中国禁止). On the cover it warns "don't eat", "don't buy," and "dangerous China." Inside it covers about every kind of real or imagined danger in China. Filthy, dangerous food, dangerous products, fake brand name products, bird flu, AIDS, etc.

It is published by Oak Mook (#169) which appears to publish a lot of similar stuff and looks to be part of the revisionist right wing nutjob fringe. (There is no evidence that the suddenly-resigned PM Abe is on the staff. ) More of their mags here.

Meanwhile, the repeated food safety scandals in Japan have faded from view. Nobody seems concerned about how the government addresses the Meat Hope scandal. (Meat Hope is yet another Japanese company caught using old food and relabeling it as new, labeling pork as beef, and much more. More recently, a famous candy maker in Hokkaido was caught using out-of-date ingredients.)

This happens enough that I am very concerned about buying frozen foods or foods such as milk which seem to be close to the printed use by date. Whereas the press and most consumers seem to have forgotten about Japan's own food safety issues to go nuts over China's, I cannot. I can avoid imported Chinese food (provided that I can trust the Japanese importer to properly label it---which may or may not happen), but I cannot avoid Japanese food. What do the nutjobs do, I wonder?

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