Chinese meat giant Shuanghui is about to buy Smithfield, America’s largest pork producer. The consequences of such a takeover are frightening to those who have watched the litany of tainted food scandals in China:
- Mutton was concocted out of rat, fox and mink flesh with a serving of gelatin and red food coloring.
- Hundreds of thousands of Chinese babies were sickened by contaminated infant formula.
- Rat poisoning was found in cat and dog food, killing thousands of pets.
In 2012 alone, the United States imported 4.1 billion pounds of food products from China, including 80 percent of the tilapia consumed, almost half of apple juice and more than 10 percent of frozen spinach. China is the world’s leading supplier of many of the staple elements of the US diet including apples, pears, potatoes and peas. The country of origin must be on the label of only some foods sold in grocery stores, but not for many processed foods. In addition, restaurant patrons are not alerted to the source of the foods consumed there unless the restaurant voluntarily identifies its sources.
Currently China cannot export fresh pork or beef to the United States because there is still hoof and mouth disease in the country, and fresh meat products might spread the disease here.
In this time of sequestration, it is unlikely that Congress will authorize a $10 billion increase in the FDA’s budget to expand the number of inspections of Chinese food imports. At this time, only one to two percent of Chinese imports are actually inspected.
Product liability claims from tainted food are feasible in Indiana. If you or a loved one has suffered injury from tainted food, consult immediately with experienced personal injury attorneys who know how to protect your rights.