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How Food Adulteration in US is Downplayed by Media

An actual story:  Customers of a bar complains that high end scotch served tasted bad.  Complaints were ignored until officials got a sample of the drink and tested it.  It turned out to be rubbing alcohol (ethanol, which is somewhat toxic) mixed with caramel food coloring.  At a different bar, bottles with dirty water was presented as liquor.

Where did this happen?  Some might guess in China.  But it actually happened in New Jersey, detected only after a 1 year long sting operation (Operation Swill).

Well, Western media did report “Operation Swill”, which netted raids on 29 restaurants and bars, 13 of which were TGI Friday Restaurants owned by 1 owner.  Just in New Jersey.

Unfortunately, most of the media did NOT report any of the really gory details from above, rubbing alcohol, dirty water.  See for yourselves:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/01/nyregion/many-bars-misled-drinkers-new-jersey-says.html.  (Lesser known media reported more accurately:  http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/05/rubbing_alcohol_as_scotch_nj_o.html)

Even the title of NY Times article downplayed the extent of the detected problems.  “Misled”??!  “They were accused in May of trying to pass off bottom-shelf swill as top-notch stuff.”

I wouldn’t call rubbing alcohol or dirty (mop) water “bottom-shelf swill”.

The real story is how much more food adulteration is actually happening in the West?  From just 1 year in New Jersey, it appears that the problem is significant.  People are complaining, but the media and the government rarely listened, thus continue to pass off proverbial dirty water as “high quality” food in US.

 

 

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  1. Charles Liu
    August 1st, 2013 at 08:45 | #1

    And of course, stuff like this is isolated incident and our food supply remains safe. Very different narrative when it comes to China. One fake egg story China is about to collapse and the nation needs soul searching? Seriously, anyone here actually seen fake egg sold or consumed fake egg in China?

    Years of investigation the FDA can’t pin pet death on Chinese-made dog treats, but media narrtive has all but convicted China. To me there a more reasonable explanation – it’s printed right on the dog treat package if anyone ever bothered to read it. Over feeding of salty dog treats can lead to canine bloat.

    BTW, according to the CDC, every year 127,000 Americans are hospitalized for serious foodborn illness, an 3,000 die from eating bad food. I’m not saying China’s food safety is better, but things must be taken in perspective.

  2. November 11th, 2013 at 03:38 | #2

    Food Adulteration is a very considerable thing, seriously affecting people more and more. Not only in US but in other countries also the conditions are worse, for example in India the ratio of adulterated vs normal food is almost 30:70 which may become 70:30 soon if not taken care of.

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