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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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The growing attention on food scandals is definitely a great way to inform consumers about issues and hazardous products that are being sold. However, I do not completely agree that making the public more aware will automatically result in safer foods. At the end of this blog it was written that Wu Ming said there are so many policies that it is difficult to enforce them all. There are still continuous reports of food scandals so I am not so sure how much I believe that the food is becoming safer just yet.

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