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China Scare ‘Off The Charts’ In Japan

Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, March 4, 2008

We have devoted quite a bit of ink to issues related to food safety and China. Among the pieces we’ve run are these:

China Plays Down Food Safety Problems

Chinese Garlic And Food Safety

China Executes Food And Drug Safety Regulator

More Food Safety Lessons From Chinese Ginger Recall

Pundit’s Mailbag — Eye-Opening Visit To China’s Garlic Growers

Pundit’s Mailbag — Where Accreditation Is For Sale, We Better Know Our Suppliers

Pundit’s Mailbag — Chinese Produce Imports And Retail Responsibilities

Expert On Chinese Garlic Weighs In On Food Safety Issue

Chinese Apples Pose Threat To US Apple Industry

Pundit’s Mailbag — China, COOL And International Opportunities

China’s Food Safety Issues Plague Exports AND Imports

Zespri Among Most Counterfeited Brands In China

Brand-Crazy Chinese

Pundit’s Mailbag — Call For Counterfeiting Countermeasures

Too Many Concerns Still Exist Over Organic Certification In China

We just received a note from frequent Pundit correspondent, Jack Bayles of the Alishan Organic Center in Japan, pointing out that the “China scare” is “off the charts” in Japan:

The China scare is off the charts. I went to a local “Family Restaurant” called Royal Host with the family today (love the way you refer to the Jr. Pundits by the way). In the lobby they have a sign posted, updated daily with where the ingredients they use are from. Usually listing the state and often listing down to the farmers coop they were bought from. I’ve attached a photograph; the sign also stated that we have no Chinese ingredients. We did not push them on whether that included the ascorbic acid used as an acidity regulator. But there were frozen vegetables from USA and Australia!

Well, with country-of-origin labeling likely to be mandatory soon, it will be interesting to see if it makes a difference in consumer purchasing patterns in the US.

This sign in the lobby of a restaurant makes us think that foodservice operators should be prepared. After all, once retail has mandatory country-of-origin labeling, advocates will be looking for another target. Restaurants are next.

A hat tip to Jack for passing on the photo and information regarding happenings in Japan.

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