I have been lurking in a number of message boards online that have been discussion the China food safety issue. One thing that has caught my attention is the type of information I keep seeing. Now either the same person frequents the same boards I do, or there is something going on. I really don’t know. But so far I have heard in at least three boards the following lines, word for word:
“99% of imports to the US meet the FDA standards.”
“If you don’t buy from Wal Mart, you are anti Chinese.”
“You are a racist if you don’t buy Chinese products because of 1 or 2 bad products.”
I’d like to address each one. First of all, the FDA admits to inspecting only about 1% of imports. That does not mean the other 99% are up to US safety and health standards, that just means the consumer is left to figure out if it is or is not. The truth is, nobody knows what percentage actually meets US food and safety standards, since we don’t check enough shipments to determine this.
Not shopping at Wal Mart does not make you anti Chinese. As in any capitalist system, consumers are free to choose what supplier they do business with, that’s plain economics and not everyone likes Wal Mart. I don’t because I don’t feel Wal Mart the company is in line with my values. If they change their focus and become in line with my values, I’ll shop there.
And no, you are not racist if you don’t buy products from China. One thing I’d like to point out, there are many Chinese outside of China that produce quality goods that you can be assured are of good quality. So it is not a Chinese issue if you don’t buy products from China. Keep in mind, I don’t consider Taiwan part of China yet I do consider them Chinese. Second, it’s more than 1 or 2 bad products. Chinese is always in the top three of rejected products of those the FDA does inspect and the top source country of recalled products that are not initially inspected. So it is wide spread and across all sectors.
I think it is important to address these issues so that consumers can be aware of some of the tactics used. These are shaming tactics and very poorly done. Inform yourself as a consumer and be aware that you have a right to choose and be informed about how your products were produced, where and by whom. If those products do not match with your values or ideals of what you want to purchase, don’t let pressure tactics push you to buy what you truly do not want.