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More food scandals in China may point to better regulation

Labors inspect frozen vegetables.

STACEY VANEK SMITH: Hundreds of people in Central China are sick after eating pork tainted with illegal food additives. It's the latest in a recent spate of food scandals in China this year.

Our own Rob Schmitz has more.


ROB SCHMITZ: Two weeks ago, a Shanghai housewife discovered the pork she had bought contained so much bacteria that it glowed in the dark. It seems like a new food scandal is now a weekly event in China. But guess what? It may be because the food in China may actually be getting safer.

LESTER ROSS: The greater awareness of these issues, in some respects, may actually indicate progress.

Lester Ross is an attorney in Beijing who studies food safety regulations in China.

ROSS: Just in the last month or so, there have been more than half a dozen or so different directives to control baby formula, and a variety of other things.

Wu Ming is outspoken critic of China's food safety at Beijing University. She says China's enacted so many policies that enforcing them has become a problem. Lester Ross says the market may prove to be the best enforcer. The companies at the heart of the tainted milk scandal a few years ago saw their shares collapse, and two company officials were even executed. Plus foreign milk brands -- including American ones -- saw an uptick in sales.

In Shanghai, I'm Rob Schmitz, for Marketplace.

About the author

Rob Schmitz is Marketplace’s China correspondent in Shanghai.

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