Since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, millions of products from China have been flooding American stores annually. Corporations import products from China because they are cheaper. Unfortunately, the United States government has not done enough to protect American consumers from Chinese toxic foods and dangerous consumer products. Causes are:
- Various U.S. agencies responsible for inspecting product safety from China are under capacity and overwhelmed with their responsibilities. The FDA inspects less than 2% of products arriving at US ports. The USDA allows organic food fraud to be on the rise. The CPSC fails to inspect red-flagged imported shipments due to lack of funding and resources.
- The World Trade Organization limits the United States from setting safety rules for food and consumer products from China and other trading partners.
- The Chinese government has attempted to tighten food safety regulations. However, it is impossible for China to regulate over 200 million farms and 12 million food-processing companies. The majority of them are mom-and-pop businesses who have very little understanding about food safety or pesticide residue. Some even cut corners or use illegal pesticides and additives to maximize profit.
- China’s agriculture soil and water are contaminated with heavy metals due to rapid industrialization and limited pollution control for many decades. As a result, crops and seafood are more likely to be contaminated and toxic. Additionally, the USDA certified organic produce from China is questionable.
Unfortunately for consumers, toxic food and consumer products from China can cause cancer and other serious illnesses. Consumers can minimize potential damage by carefully reading the country of origin label to avoid food from China. However, it is almost impossible to avoid food ingredients from China when buying processed food or eating out.