Dual food standards are a disgrace

Updated: 2013-05-06 21:39

(chinadaily.com.cn)

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Ginger planted with the highly toxic pesticide aldicrab by farmers in Weifang, Shandong province, for the domestic market is the most recent poison-food scandal, says an editorial in Beijing News. Excerpts:

Fifty mg of the chemical can be lethal to a 50-kg man. Obviously, this special "fertilizer" was used by local farmers only on ginger that would serve the domestic market, as they know how strict and serious pesticide residual detection is overseas.

According to a CCTV report, all the farmers need to do for their domestic product is to get several kilograms of untainted ginger for testing. And of course, they have exclusive ginger ground for their own daily lives.

One cannot help to ask why local authorities failed to discover this before the media. It's a reflection of local government's poor supervision, especially when farmers know foreign supervisors will do their job much more seriously and thoroughly than their Chinese counterparts.

This case isn't an isolated incident. Dual standards for domestic and overseas markets are widely conducted on items like vegetables, fruits and dairy products.

Because Shandong is a major vegetables planter and supplier, the case is a chance to systematically change the situation, while the central government should speed up related legislation efforts and encourage media supervision.

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