(NaturalNews) As if anyone even needs yet another reason to be wary of the food coming out of China, Reuters is reporting that Wal-Mart customers there are outraged to learn that their donkey meat was recently found to contain "the DNA of other animals," including fox.
Wal-Mart issued an apology and has announced that customers who purchased "Five Spice" donkey meat will be reimbursed. Confoundedly, Reuters went on to note, "The scandal could dent Wal-Mart's reputation for quality in China's $1 trillion food and grocery market...." Really?
China and Wal-Mart: an inimitable combination to say the least
Wal-Mart has been involved in everything from child labor scandals and mislabeling organic products to being fined over $80 million earlier this year for violating EPA regulations on improperly disposing hazardous waste. Currently, the company is under a Department of Justice investigation over possible Foreign Corrupt Policies Act violations regarding some $24 million in bribes to build 19 stores in Mexico and other alleged misconduct in Brazil, India and, again, China. Closer to home, the media was splashed around the holidays by reports that Wal-Mart stores across the U.S. were setting up donation boxes for employees to give Thanksgiving food... to other Wal-Mart employees who couldn't afford a decent Thanksgiving dinner, because apparently they don't earn enough.
China's food and drug scandals read like a House of Horrors checklist. Babies dying from industrial chemical-tainted infant formula? Check. Rat meat sold as lamb meat? Check. Some 600 dogs dropping dead after eating pet jerky treats made in China? Check. Glow-in-the-dark blue "Avatar" pork? Check. "Gutter oil" scavenged from drains beneath Chinese restaurants being using to cook one of every ten meals in Chinese restaurants? Check. Farmed, powdered cockroaches being sold to pharmaceutical companies as medicine? Check. The list goes on and on.
But China has perhaps become most well-known lately for its vast amounts of air, soil and water pollution. Shanghai recently suffered what the media dubbed an "airpocalypse" - choking, toxic smog so heavy and thick that it closed down major airports, roadways and public schools for over a week. A deputy minister of China's Ministry of Land and Resources has also just announced that 3.3 million hectares of Chinese farmland is so polluted, it is literally unsafe to grow crops on it. Estimates are that a whopping 90 percent of groundwater supplying China's cities is severely contaminated, to the point that Chinese people reportedly do not even trust the bottled water sold there. NGOs, Chinese media and academics have estimated that China is home to over 450 "cancer villages" - residential areas built up around power, chemical or pharmaceutical plants where people are riddled with above-average levels of illness and disease. The Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection even mentioned these villages in one of its latest reports.
There are no limits on how close crops can be grown to chemical plants or how much pollution the water spayed on crops can contain in China. All of that toxic runoff and pollution finds its way into rivers and soil used to grow Chinese crops and feed livestock. The food and water is ingested by the Chinese people, and that food is exported to the rest of the world as well.
Chinese food failures coming to a grocery store near you?
As Natural News has reported before, you may be eating more food imported from China than you think. Back in 2007, CNN declared that avoiding Chinese food ingredients is nearly impossible. The U.S. imports billions in food from China every year.
Just a few months ago, the USDA announced its intention to allow processed, cooked chicken from China to be exported to the U.S., as the agency determined that China's poultry inspection process is "equivalent to that of the United States".
The "certified organic" label has also come under scrutiny (and rightfully so) after it was revealed that the USDA was licensing organic certifiers to operate in China as well. These certifiers may have rules about whether or not added petroleum-based fertilizers, pesticides or synthetic hormones in the case of animal feed are allowed; they are not required to test for limits on toxic heavy metals like arsenic, mercury, lead or cadmium - heavy metals found contaminating the food grown in China all the time. The FDA wouldn't know anyway, considering that the agency inspects less than 2 percent of the food imported from China.
Stories like fox-tainted donkey meat just continue to highlight the fact that, if its marked "Made in China," it's a safe bet you don't know what's in it.