The Free Range Gourmet Free range thoughts on the finest ingredients, cuisine, and fine dining in Hawaii.
Free 

Range Gourmet

  Local Hawaii ingredients used with an international flair



                   Email: nanette@freerangegourmet.com

Monday, September 10, 2007

 

NAFTA is why poisons can get onto your plate


Public Citizen has posted a downloadable report, Trade Deficit in Food Safety. You may want to at least read a summary of this report. A snippet from the Public Citizen description:

Today, nearly $65 billion in food goods are imported into the United States annually – nearly double the value imported when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and World Trade Organization (WTO) went into effect in the mid-1990s. Contrary to what consumers believe, the vast majority of imported foods that end up on the dinner plates of U.S. consumers is unexamined and untested.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that it will only conduct border inspections on .6 percent of the food that it regulates (vegetables, fruit, seafood, grains, dairy and animal feed) at the border in 2007 - down from an already disconcerting eight percent prior to NAFTA and WTO. FDA data makes clear that Americans are three times more likely to be exposed to dangerous pesticide residues on imported foods than on domestic foods. Only 11 percent of beef, pork and chicken imported so far in 2007 has been inspected at the border by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Emphasis is from the original article.

As "free trade" agreements are pressed with additional countries, the situation for consumers can only be expected to grow worse.

The toy recalls and the adulterated food products from China are hot news now, but expect them to disappear from media radar very quickly after awhile. Or depending on what happens in Iran or with Paris Hilton. If you are concerned, think of how to bring the issue to life again as we go into the coming national election cycle.

And meanwhile, this is a reminder to buy locally where possible and to patronize restaurants and stores that buy their foodstuffs locally.





Sunday, September 09, 2007

 

Latest from China: worms and moths in chocolates


American companies that fired their quality assurance staff when they shifted manufacturing to China had better go out and hire them back.

I don't expect a sudden movement to re-open shuttered factories in the USA. Companies know a good thing (i.e., lush CEO profits) when they see them, so they won't give up outsource to China and elsewhere.

If we, as consumers, continue to purchase from these companies we'll be enabling their behavior. The message for us (and we could learn from Japan) is to insist on quality.

Ok, you want your $24 oscillating stand fan from Longs. Go ahead, buy it. In fact, there's no alternative. The $24 oscillating stand fan made in China has driven anything else off the market.

Somehow, though, we have to turn this around. We're pawns in our own economy who exist, it seems, only to help fat corporate cats get even fatter.

 





  

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Email: nanette@freerangegourmet.com
Twitter: @freerangenan


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