Toxic Fast Food: Just the Latest Scandal Involving Made-in-China Products.

Posted by elizabethbb on 07/22/2014

Another day, another scandal centered around something produced in China.

McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, and Starbucks are among the U.S.-based chains in hot water after a damaging television report aired in China showing footage of a local meat supplier mishandling its products. Well, “mishandling” is a rather polite way of putting it. As the Washington Post reports:

The supplier, Shanghai-based Husi Food Co Ltd, was forced to shut down after local television station Dragon TV ran footage of the company's factory workers picking hamburger patties and meat from off the factory floor and throwing them directly into meat mixers, and using bare hands to handle poultry and beef on the assembly line. The footage also showed sewage and trash spread on the floor of the processing plant; in addition, expired meat, which was described as “stinky” by workers themselves, was either concealed by mixing it together with non-expired meat, or simply altering its expiration date.

Oh, and by the way: Husi Food Co Ltd is a unit of the U.S.-based OSI Group.

The fast food meat scandal is just the latest in a series of debacles stemming from food produced in China (and often sourced by American companies). For example, Wal-Mart was left scrambling earlier this year after a donkey meat product sold in its stores in China was found to contain fox meat.

And the worries about the safety of food produced in China aren’t just impacting the food being eaten in China, either. Just last month, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China held a hearing to examine the safety of pet treats, processed chicken, and animal feed produced in China and sold in the U.S.

As some of our canine friends helped us explain at the time, there are A LOT of unsafe products sold in the U.S. that are sourced from China. That includes imported pet treats (blamed for at least 1,000 animal deaths), toxic toys, toothpaste, and even equipment and parts used to supply the U.S. military. In addition, there is serious concern that a deadly virus that has killed 10 percent of America’s pig population came to the U.S. via China.

Then there’s the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, which was built with steel from China — and is now under scrutiny after a Sacramento Bee investigation found it might be spectacularly unsafe.

So while American fast food giants scramble to deal with the fallout from the toxic meat controversy, here at the Alliance for American Manufacturing we’re left wondering when enough is enough for Made-in-China products. If we can’t trust that our food is safe, how will we know if anything else produced in China is, either?  

Photo Credit: dcmaster via Flickr.

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