There is a huge amount of concern about the Chinese gyoza food poisoning scandal. After eating shop-bough instant frozen gyoza (dumplings), 10 people are reported to have experienced nausea, dizziness and, a 5-year-old girl is in critical condition in hospital.
The frozen gyoza were found to have traces of methamidophos, a pesticide banned in Japan.
JT foods, a subsidiary of Japan Tabacco, has now started recalling 23 types of the frozen gyoza on offer and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is urging companies not to import or sell all products made by the Chinese company in question.
Every time a Chinese food scandal story breaks in the media, there is uproar by the media, the general public and politicians, all seeking to place the “low-standard” Chinese food maker’s head in the guillotine. One broadcast news program even went to China for some emergency door-stepping following this latest scandal. Ridiculously, the journalist jumped in front of the Chinese factory workers and started berating them with accusations and finger pointing and of course, the Chinese workers had no idea what was going on, one young lady repeatedly saying “what do you want? What is this?”
Food scandals cause outrage in Japan and understandably so. People want to feel safe when buying food and not have to think about whether their next meal will cause hospitalization or not. But the reaction by the media,especially the housewife-targeting news programs that feed on the idea that all Chinese food produce propose a risk to your health is hyperbolic. As a consequence, despite the low-cost of those items, you will see more and more housewives boycotting Chinese produce out of fear.
Will this see that the Chinese food producers and their Japanese trading counterparts are more careful with the safety of the food? Or is this just fuelling anti-Chinese sentiment and the idea that Chinese produce can never be as good as Japan’s?
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