BEIJING – executed a former director of its agency Tuesday for approving fake medicine in exchange for cash, illustrating how serious is about tackling product safety, while officials announced steps to safeguard food at next summer’s .
“In theand , pet food containing Chinese wheat gluten tainted with the chemical melamine has been blamed for the deaths of dogs and cats. Since then, . authorities have turned away or recalled toxic fish, juice containing unsafe color additives and popular toy trains decorated with lead paint.
“The list of food scares within China over the past year includes drug-tainted fish, industrial dye used to color egg yolks red and pork tainted with a banned feed additive.
“Zheng’s death sentence was unusually severe even for China, which is believed to carry out more court-ordered executions than all other nations combined, and indicates the communist leadership’s determination to confront the country’s dire product safety record.” (From Yahoo News)
When I first heard about pet food tainted with contaminated wheat from China, I thought, “Do we really need to be importing wheat from China?” The dog food in question was made in Emporia, Kansas, about 54 miles south of my front door. Emporia is the historic home of the famous journalist William Allen White. Among White’s other accomplishments, he succeeded in running the KKK out of our state back in the 20′s by the power of his vitriolic scorn. But that’s another story.
Emporia is surrounded by tall grass, prairie chickens, and what else? Wheat! They don’t grow much rice there, but they have elevators full of wheat, corn, and soybeans. He must have been salesman of the year, they guy who sold Chinese wheat gluten to the dog food factory in Emporia. It turns out that this one factory makes dog food for all the major brands, including some exclusive and pricey ones, along with Purina and Wal-Mart’s Ol’ Roy brand. They all comes from the same place, but I suppose each manufacturer has its own recipe.
The one thing China does not want is bad publicity. So they took swift action against the man who allowed the bad wheat gluten to make it to Kansas.
Is it just me, or does execution seem like an extreme remedy? I’m an animal lover. I have two dogs who go bicycle riding with me every day; and I am still grieving over the loss of our long-time companion Raja the day after Christmas. But would I kill over bad dog food?
Shouldn’t somebody be saying to the Chinese ambassador, “Now wait a minute, please don’t kill anyone else, just stop making bad dog food. Over here we commute the sentences of corrupt government officials, we don’t kill them”?