(Natural News) Many consumers go out of their way to avoid buying products from China, especially when it comes to food, thanks to their shoddy safety record and the country’s widespread pollution problems. People often scrutinize the labels of the foods and other products they buy to ensure they don’t come from China. Now, the country’s official Communist propaganda newspaper, the People’s Daily, has taken an American pet food company to task for advertising the fact that its products do not contain Chinese ingredients.
The family-owned The Honest Kitchen’s pet food label reads, “We make ALL of our cat and dog foods without ingredients from China – nothing, zip, nada.” These words are a huge selling point for people who don’t want their pets exposed to toxins, but they’ve apparently drawn the ire of the Chinese government. The Honest Kitchen’s website also features a map showing the origin of their ingredients; nothing comes from China, and there is a note on the map that reads: “P.S. Free Tibet.”
It’s only natural that pet owners would be extremely wary of pet food that comes from China after a widely publicized scandal involving pet treats from the country that were tainted with the chemical melamine, which is toxic to dogs and cats. Petco removed all of the Chinese-made treats for dogs and cats from its stores across the nation after more than 1,000 dogs died and thousands more were sickened after eating them, and PetSmart instituted a similar ban.
The Honest Kitchen’s founder, Lucy Postins, defended their stance, saying it was established in response to the serious safety concerns posed by Chinese pet food. She added that even some of their Chinese customers are unwilling to use Chinese ingredients.
Nevertheless, the People’s Daily claims China, a nation where 300,000 babies became ill after drinking melamine-laced formula – somehow places a “high value on food safety” and has been trying to improve its food’s quality. “Trying to improve” of course, is hardly reassuring to pet owners who do their best to keep their animals healthy… not to mention alive.
They also questioned the pet food company’s “Free Tibet” slogan, asking how it relates to food safety and accusing the Honest Company of “promoting an anti-Chinese agenda.”
A Canadian newspaper quoted one sensitive Chinese consumer who found the label offensive, saying “I don’t feel very comfortable that a product like this exists in the market.”
Chinese government regularly attacks businesses it doesn’t agree with
The Honest Kitchen is far from the only business the Chinese government has attacked; in fact, they’re in pretty good company. Earlier this year, they accused Marriott hotels of hurting Chinese people’s feelings and violating national laws by listing Macau, Tibet, Taiwan and Hong Kong as countries in the drop-down menus on its non-Chinese websites.
The Chinese government also threatened Mercedes-Benz with economic retribution after one of their social media managers posted a quote made by the Dalai Lama on their Instagram page. Instagram is banned in China anyway, but that didn’t stop them from demanding an apology for offending them.
They also protested when the prestigious Man Booker international literature prize committee nominated the Taiwanese professor Wu Ming-yi for this year’s award and identified his nationality as being Taiwanese. China considers Taiwan to be a rogue province rather than a sovereign state and forced the prize committee to list the author’s nationality as “Taiwan, China” instead. The author was opposed to the change and wrote on his Facebook page that it did not reflect his personal opinion on the issue.
If the Chinese government spent less time attacking what businesses do in free nations and devoted more resources to controlling the safety of their food instead, perhaps they wouldn’t have to worry so much about people avoiding their products like the plague.
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