This is a great article from the Wall Street Journal focusing on the fact that it is not just the food exported from China but the food sold domestically that is something to worry about. These villagers are facing some serious health problems. We as global consumers do have options not to buy from China, but the locals out in a small farming village in China, normally do not.
Here is one paragraph from the article highlighting the issues reported by Chinese scientist on the problems in their domestic farming:
Chinese academics have written about such sites in more than a dozen studies over the past two years in Chinese and international scientific journals. In a study published earlier this year, researchers at the Guangdong Institute of Ecology found excessive levels of cadmium and mercury in Chinese cabbage grown in Foshan, a major manufacturing center in southern China. Last year, researchers at Lanzhou University published research showing that vegetables at four sites near the mining and smelting city of Baiyin in the Northwestern Gansu province contained hazardous levels of cadmium, lead and copper. A study of crops grown in the central city of Chongqing found excessive lead and cadmium levels in vegetables at 20 sites.
Villagers are getting sit because of China’s poor health and safety record. As consumers, we should not buy China produced agricultural goods, not just for ourselves but for the Chinese who really don’t have a choice. China has a trillion dollar cash reserve, they have more than enough money to clean up their act and ensure that their food is safe for human consumption, yet they don’t. So, use the law of supply and demand! Demand non China produced goods and help those consumers in China at the same time. China is like any other producer, they have to obey market forces. If you don’t buy their stuff, they have to change to what you want!
Also write your representatives at the local, state and federal level to demand better testing for all imports. Right now, as the article says, it’s the luck of the draw if we ever catch something. The next two biggest economies test all their imports so we have no excuse not to. Exercise your rights as consumers and do not buy China produced goods until China learns that the customer is king and that what the king wants, the king gets. Right now China is play a huge smoke and mirrors game and getting away with it. Also write to the importers and your local grocery story to demand they test and show their test results that their food is safe.
Change only comes if you demand it. Why spend your time working out and living right if your food is contaminated and killing you, when it could have been prevented all along for pennies on the dollar.