这是美联社报导中透露的信息，该媒体26日刊登记者Anita Chang撰写的一篇题为“中国精英在牛奶慌中获得特供食品”（Amid milk scare, China’s elite get special food）的报导说，这种安全的食物供应源与面对屡屡发生的食品丑闻，而为食物安全烦恼不已的普通百姓，形成一种鲜明的对比，因为这些普通老百姓吃的可能是－－带有有害杀虫剂的蔬菜、含有致癌化物质的鱼、用工业染料染色的鸡蛋、导致失明或者死亡的假酒、充满细菌的节日糕饼。
Amid milk scare, China’s elite get special food
By ANITA CHANG, Associated Press Writer
Wed Sep 24, 3:52 PM ET
BEIJING – While China grapples with its latest tainted food crisis, the political elite are served the choicest, safest delicacies. They get hormone-free beef from the grasslands of Inner Mongolia, organic tea from the foothills of Tibet and rice watered by melted mountain snow.
And it’s all supplied by a special government outfit that provides all-organic goods from farms working under the strictest guidelines.
That secure food supply stands in stark contrast to the frustrations of ordinary citizens who have faced recurring food scandals — vegetables with harmful pesticide residue, fish tainted with a cancer-causing chemical, eggs colored with industrial dye, fake liquor causing blindness or death, holiday pastries with bacteria-laden filling.
Now that the country’s most reputable dairies have been found selling baby formula and other milk products tainted with an industrial chemical that can cause kidney stones and kidney failure, many Chinese don’t know what to buy. Tens of thousands of children have been sickened and four babies have died.
Knowing that their leaders do not face these problems has made some people angry.
“Food safety is a high priority for children and families of government officials, so are normal citizens less entitled to safe food?” asked Zhong Lixun, feeding her 7-month-old grandson baby formula after he got checked for kidney stones at Beijing Children’s Hospital.
The State Council Central Government Offices Special Food Supply Center is specifically designed to avoid the problems troubling the general population.
“We all know that average production facilities use large quantities of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Antibiotics and hormones are commonly used in raising livestock and poultry. Farmed aquatic products are contaminated by various kinds of water pollution,” the center’s director, Zhu Yonglan, said in a speech earlier this year.
“It goes without saying that these are harmful when consumed by humans,” Zhu told executives at supplier Shandong Ke’er Biological Medical Technology Development Co., which posted it on its Web site.
Zhu’s speech has been widely circulated by Chinese Internet users on blogs and forums in recent days, with many expressing outrage that top government officials have a separate — and safer — food supply than the public.
The special food center enforces strict standards on suppliers like Shandong Ke’er, which makes health supplements designed to boost immunity and energy. Foods must be organic, not genetically modified and meet international food standards, said a manager in the center’s product department, who only gave her surname, Zhang.
The reason: its A-list clientele of government officials and retirees of vice minister rank or higher.
It’s not unusual for China’s leadership to have a special food supply; the practice stretches back thousands of years to farms providing ingredients for lavish imperial meals or the greasy, spicy dishes favored by Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong.
The former Soviet Union’s ruling classes also ate food that was unavailable to the masses. In North Korea, where withering famines have seen tens of thousands starve over the past 13 years, leader Kim Jong Il is a gourmet known for his love of lobster, shark’s fin soup and sushi. His former private chef has said Kim keeps an extensive collection of vintage French wines.
Set up in 2004, China’s Special Food Supply Center is almost as secretive as its high-end clientele, whose precise number is unclear, but includes hundreds of top political leaders, their families and retired cadres. Much of the information on its Web site was removed after media inquiries and interview requests this week.
Goods deemed to meet the highest standards are stamped with the label “Nation A,” which stands for “top end, irreplaceable, the best,” according to the Web site. Those products are for senior politicians or government offices and not released to the general consumer market, said a customer service agent surnamed Dong.
Rice fed by melted snow from Mt. Changbai, which straddles the China-North Korean border, gets a “Nation A” rating, according to the Web site.
The center scours the country for purveyors in places famous for a particular product, said Zhang, the manager.
These include fish from Hubei province — known traditionally as the “land of fish and rice” — tea from mountainous Yunnan province abutting Tibet, and beef and mutton from the Inner Mongolian steppes, according to Zhu’s speech.
As for rice, some comes from the northeast, grown from seeds specially cultivated by experts from the Jilin Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said sales manager Wu Honghua of Chifeng Heiyupaozi Organic Agropastoral Development Co.
It “has a very small output. It tastes very good. And it doesn’t involve genetic engineering,” said Wu.
Wu said 90 percent of the rice goes to the Beidaihe Sanitorium — a seaside resort for retired party cadres. The remainder is sold on the market, he said, at $4 a pound — a price five times higher than regular organic rice and 15 times more than the price of ordinary rice.
A brand of organic tea supplied to the center sells for $187 a pound. “It’s fresh and tender, smells good and has a bright color,” said Xia Dan, an employee of the Huiming Tea Co. in eastern Zhejiang province.
The latest food safety scandal began with tainted baby formula from one company, but widened to include products from 22 of China’s dairies. Countries as far away as Kenya and Colombia have banned or recalled Chinese dairy imports, while cakes, candies and other products made with milk products have come under suspicion.
Since the scandal broke earlier this month, sales of Chinese milk have plummeted after top dairies Mengniu Dairy Group Co. and Yili Industrial Group Co. were found to have sold contaminated milk.
Chinese looking for reassurance have turned to one company not named in any recalls — Sanyuan Foods Ltd.
It proudly advertises that its milk is used for state banquets at the Great Hall of the People and has seen its sales triple in Beijing, while demand has outstripped supply in at least one province. And that’s despite the fact that its price — about $1.60 a quart — is 25 percent higher than other brands.
Associated Press writer Chi-Chi Zhang and researchers Zhao Liang and Bonnie Cao contributed to this report.
China’s tainted milk scandal spills into other countries
Taiwanese children ill, Japanese cookies contaminated, Chinese baby food banned
Last Updated: Friday, September 26, 2008 | 7:15 AM ET
The Associated Press
China’s tainted milk scandal continues to expand beyond the country’s borders as three Taiwanese children and a mother are sick with kidney stones, a Japanese confectioner’s cookies are found to be contaminated and the European Union joins other countries in banning imports of baby food containing Chinese milk.
Liu Yi-lien, health chief of the Ilan County government in eastern Taiwan, says the two three-year-old girls and a one-year-old boy all have been travelling frequently between Taiwan and China with their parents. One of the children’s mothers also has kidney stones.
If a link is established between these kidney problems and melamine-tainted milk, they would be the first such cases diagnosed outside of China or its territories of Hong Kong and Macau since the contaminated milk scandal erupted this month.
However, the infants may have been consuming formula purchased in China, not Taiwan.
Liu said they all consumed Chinese milk, but that more tests were need to establish a link to their kidney stones.
Four children in China have died from consuming the products contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine and more than 50,000 have been sickened.
Five other children have become ill as a result of using melamine-tainted products in the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau.
Meanwhile, Koala’s March cookies made by Lotte China Foods Co., a Tokyo conglomerate, were found to be contaminated with the toxic chemical melamine. The Japanese confectioner exports cookies to the Chinese territory of Macau.
Macau’s government said late Thursday that they had found levels of melamine 24 times the safety limit in the cookies. An official at Lotte (China) Investment Co. Ltd. in Shanghai said Friday that previous inspections had not shown any problems.
“The range of the inspections covered all the products sold domestically, including the Bear chocolate-filled cookies mentioned in the report. The outcome was all fine,” said Guo Hongming, a legal assistant in the Lotte Shanghai’s corporate planning department.
“But now that it tested positive in Macau, we find it necessary to do the inspections all over again.”
Hong Kong supermarkets also removed the popular Japanese brand of chocolate-filled cookies from shelves Friday.
Hundreds of international food companies have set up operations in China in recent years, exposing them to the country’s notorious product safety problems.
The food safety crisis in China started with melamine-tainted infant formula. It has since spread to other milk products and has triggered recalls and bans on Chinese food products around the world.
The European Union banned imports of baby food containing Chinese milk Thursday as a toxic chemical that was illegally added to China’s dairy supplies turned up in candy and other Chinese-made goods that were quickly pulled from stores worldwide.
The 27-nation EU adds to the growing list of countries that have banned or recalled Chinese dairy products because of the contamination. In addition to the ban, the European Commission called for more checks on other Chinese food imports.
All European Union imports of products containing more than 15 per cent of milk powder will have to be tested under the new rules due to come into force Friday.
Food safety experts in the EU, which imports about 19,500 tonnes of Chinese confectionary products, said there is only a limited risk in Europe from the food imports. But the European Commission says it is acting as a precaution in the face of the growing health scare.
The maker of one of China’s most popular candies said Friday it had halted production because of suspected melamine contamination. White Rabbit brand creamy candies have already been pulled from shelves around Asia and in Britain.
“It’s a tragedy for the Chinese food industry and a big lesson for us as it ruined the time-honoured brand,” Ge Junjie, a vice-president of Bright Foods (Group) Co. Ltd., was quoted as saying by the Shanghai Daily.
Bright Foods’ subsidiary Guangshengyuan produces White Rabbit.
Ge was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency that the company was waiting for test results from the Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau.
“We decided to halt all sales of White Rabbit candy, although the test results have not yet come out,” Ge said.
Concern about White Rabbit candies has also spread to South America, where Surinamese health authorities ordered food markets to stop selling it as a precautionary measure.
“Up to this point, we have no indication that these candies are tainted but we did not want to take any chances,” said Lesley Resida, director of public health, describing Suriname’s decision as a precautionary measure.
White Rabbit candies are widely available in Suriname, where people of Chinese heritage make up roughly 8 percent of the population.
In Taiwan, where there have been huge concerns about the safety of milk and related products imported from China, Pizza Hut said Friday it had suspended supplying cheese powder found to be contaminated by melamine.
Wu Yu-ping, an official of Pizza Hut’s Taiwan branch, said the tainted cheese was supplied by Taiwan’s Kaiyuan Company, but its source is not known.
On Thursday, the European Union banned imports of baby food containing Chinese milk. The move by the 27-nation EU adds to the growing list of countries that have banned or recalled Chinese dairy products because of the contamination.
Health experts say ingesting a small amount of melamine poses no danger, but in larger doses, the chemical — used to make plastics and fertilizer — can cause kidney stones and lead to kidney failure. Infants are particularly vulnerable.
Outside Shanghai, three zoo babies were found to have developed kidney stones after being nursed with tainted milk powder for more than a year. A lion cub and two baby orangutans were sickened after drinking infant formula made by the Sanlu Group Co., said Zhang Xu, a veterinarian with the Hangzhou Zhangxu Animal Hospital.
Coffee products, baby cereals pulled in U.S., Hong Kong for melamine fears
Last Updated: Friday, September 26, 2008 | 3:00 PM ET
U.S. and Hong Kong health authorities issued recalls Friday for more products, including coffee and baby cereals, because they may be contaminated with the industrial compound melamine.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it was recalling Mr. Brown instant coffee and milk tea products manufactured by Shandong Duqing Inc. in China.
The U.S. recall affects the following products:
Mr. Brown Mandheling Blend Instant Coffee (3-in-1).
Mr. Brown Arabica Instant Coffee (3-in-1).
Mr. Brown Blue Mountain Blend Instant Coffee (3-in-1).
Mr. Brown Caramel Macchiato Instant Coffee (3-in-1).
Mr. Brown French Vanilla Instant Coffee (3-in-1).
Mr. Brown Mandhling Blend instant Coffee (2-in-1).
Mr. Brown Milk Tea (3-in-1).
Separately, the Hong Kong government said it was recalling contaminated Heinz-brand baby cereals and Silang House steamed potato wasabi crackers. Garfield Balsom, a spokesman for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, said the Heinz cereals are not imported into Canada.
Earlier this month, melamine — a compound used in fertilizers and resins — was detected in milk products sold in China. More than 50,000 infants and children have been sickened and four children have died after consuming tainted products.
Health authorities say consuming small amounts of melamine does not pose a significant safety hazard, but for children and in larger doses the chemical can cause kidney stones and lead to kidney failure.
In 2007, FDA officials speculated melamine was added to wheat gluten and rice protein used for pet food because it falsely appeared to raise the protein content of the ingredients.