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Report on potentially infected Chinese poultry used in Japanese fast food sparks fears

28 Comments
By Andrew Miller

An article published in a special edition of Japanese weekly Shukan Bunshu has suggested that potentially hazardous chicken sourced from China may be finding its way into fast food in Japan. The article, composed by writer Shuuji Okuno, begins by posing the following question:

“Would you still be willing to put a chicken nugget in your mouth if you knew the real story? The hazards of China’s domestic chicken meat!”

The paper reveals that in January this year, the Chinese Communist Party’s newspaper Beijing Youth Daily ran a shocking news article that exposed the state of China’s food problem:

“Reports on the Net suggest that a food manufacturer in Hanan is using birds in its manufacturing process that have died due to disease. The use of diseased birds has been going on for some time and the same processed birds are being sold to a famous fast-food retailers.”

Needless to say that when first published, the news created widespread panic among the citizens of China since the famous fast food retailers that the article is referring to are none other than McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). It doesn’t stop just at China but also has implications for the Japanese chains of the same fast food retailers.

Japan’s Sankei News, upon carrying out its own investigation, discovered that some of the chicken used by McDonald’s Japan is the same as the meat from the food manufacturer in Hanan, China. Perhaps even more alarming is that in 2011, 222,000 tons of chicken was imported into Japan from China.

The most evident problem relating to China’s poultry is the large amounts of growth hormones and antibiotics they are given to speed up the process, with reports also suggesting that some birds are kept in poultry houses completely void of light, with up to 100 birds crammed into spaces originally designed for the raising of 40. Taking all this into account, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine how disease could quickly spread from bird to bird.

Fifteen years ago, China saw the spread of the E.coli bacteria. As a result of the uncontrolled use of antibiotics, antibiotic-resistant bacteria spread like never before. As of now there are about a hundred different types of bacteria recorded, with the 078 strain being one of the most virulent. When antibiotics fail to work, there is obviously a significant increase in the number of infected birds that die.

Sankei’s report goes on to suggest that much of the corn fed to these birds may also be contaminated with organochlorine, a chemical that is known for causing cancer and affecting the nervous system. When fed to poultry, the concentration of organochlorine in this corn is said to increase ten fold.

McDonald’s Japan has responded to fears regarding the most recent contamination problem in writing. However as of yet, the fast food chain has been rather hesitant in elaborating too much on the issues at hand.

Source: Sankei News

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28 Comments
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The paper reveals that in January this year, the Chinese Communist Party’s newspaper Beijing Youth Daily ran a shocking news article that exposed the state of China’s food problem:

Surprising that the government there let this one out of the bag. Just makes China look even worse.

The most evident problem relating to China’s poultry is the large amounts of growth hormones and antibiotics they are given to speed up the process, with reports also suggesting that some birds are kept in poultry houses completely void of light, with up to 100 birds crammed into spaces originally designed for the raising of 40. Taking all this into account, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine how disease could quickly spread from bird to bird.

People use this argument against joining the TPP , how about looking a little closer to home first!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"potentially infected Chinese poultry"

So which is it, potentially infected or potentially hazardous? With that headline, we are hoping for the name of a disease that the poultry is potentially infected with...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Reports on the Net suggest that a food manufacturer in Hanan is using birds in its manufacturing process that have died due to disease. The use of diseased birds has been going on for some time and the same processed birds are being sold to a famous fast-food retailers."

Japan needs to stop importing food from China. It's clear the Chinese government can't safeguard the food supply in China. Just this week a group of meat traders was arrested for selling rat meat as mutton.

In total, more than 900 suspects have been arrested this year alone for selling tainted or fake meat products, adding to a long list of hazardous food practices that range from butchering cats to pass as poultry to thousands of dead pigs dumped in a river outside of Shanghai.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

The infected corn is the frightener not so much the chicken, does that mean all vegetables are contaminated. Farmers all around the world are using products I really don't think they understand to help them with their crop, but the people who sell them these products certainly know. The consumer has no idea whats been used in the farmers process. This is where governments should be concentrating there efforts, by investigating the chemical companies who make these products. Ah! but then they are the same companies that provide financial support to the same politicians. Nasty and vicious circle.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

It is kind of stupid to eat anything grown in China. Cheap food is cheap for a reason.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

More evidence that the towering global leader is in fact only veneer. Under the surface of a wealth class, great economic numbers and rising global rank, China is itself infected with corruption, mismanagement, shoddy quality and empty repressive leadership.

What does that mean for us? Risky food, risky regional politics and disease. Japan must find other means of providing for her own food supply.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

If you eat anything made in the PRC expect the worse and if you catch anything then blame yourself for buying their cheat junk!

Anything coming out of the PRC is a hazard to your health!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The most evident problem relating to China’s poultry is the large amounts of growth hormones and antibiotics they are given to speed up the process, with reports also suggesting that some birds are kept in poultry houses completely void of light, with up to 100 birds crammed into spaces originally designed for the raising of 40.

... This isn't just a problem in China, it is also standard practice in the U.S., Australia and most of Europe. The hormones and antibiotics are part of the battery farming method internationally. Chickens regularly become infected with diseases because of the close conditions and limited movement.

This just shows how insanely biased this article is. Firstly it doesn't mention what the chickens were infected with. The same thing could be said of chickens sold internationally. There are regular reports from many countries of chickens that are obviously sick being killed and dumped into the "chicken nuggets" (i.e. processed chicken where the disease won't show) pile.

Secondly, trying to pass battery farming of chickens off as something that only happens in China is ridiculous.

Personally I try to only eat "free range" eggs and chicken (which is difficult in Japan), where the chickens at least have limited freedom.

But this problem isn't just in China, it is international, and just another example of how bad the food industry has become.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

frungy is completely right.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Where does everyone think the McProfits come from?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Agree with Frungy. I love my Yakiniku as much as my Yakitori but when I actually looked into the methods used by meat "farmers" I was truly appalled and now try (and I mean try) to source meat via organic suppliers. Very scarce here in Japan, and I like it too much to be 100% organic but hopefully I can support the farmers who are actually doing something to move away from "commercial" methods. And yes, I accept that even some organic farmers may be barbaric, hopefully the ratio is lower. Anyway, what drove me to this length? Well, take a look at this video (hopefully mods will allow it - it is well shot and no commentary so you can judge for yourselves). The opening scene with a roadsweeper and vacuum for chickens says it all really http://vimeo.com/57425074.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So thats why the "Argentinian" chicken was only 48 yen per 100 grams.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

walteryMay. 06, 2013 - 11:34AM JST So thats why the "Argentinian" chicken was only 48 yen per 100 grams.

I wouldn't rely too much on the labels. Soon Chinese chicken farmers will get wise this and sell their chicken in bulk to a supplier in somewhere like Romania, who will repackage it and sell it to someone in Greece, who will sell it to a supplier in the U.S. and your Chinese chicken will arrive in Japan with a label reading "U.S. chicken" ... and a 50% mark-up because of all the middlemen plus it'll be quite old (but who's to know, each time they repackage it they just wash it down and slap a new "best before" date on it).

... and before anyone accuses me of being overly cynical, this is precisely how the horsemeat scandal in the U.K. happened, by reselling the meat several times before it reached the consumer. So I'm not overly cynical, I'm just cynical enough to cope with the way the world really is.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Instead of just talking about import export of infected poultry. Why not we write about the origination of all this problems. How and when it started. If we go in to deep of all this problems we'll come to know who are those original idiots.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Frungy

This isn't just a problem in China, it is also standard practice in the U.S., Australia and most of Europe.

The Chinese is doing it on overdrive as to compared to other nations that is what this article is trying to point out.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

When i began driving a taxi years ago,I would go down to Chinatown late night/early A.M. to eat. well the area has bags &bags of garbage on the street but not a Cat or Rat to be seen Anywhere-

Chicken Meow Mein,anyone ??? how about some chinese Lamb stew ???
0 ( +1 / -1 )

There are seasonal birds that carry the flu H5N9 virus which flys to China and also to some parts of Japan, from the North. The issue here is not just that these birds infect chickens in China and subsequently the meat is sold into Japan but also what the authorities here are doing to prevent bird flu from contaminating Japanese chicken, so to speak. We seem to put our patriotism / nationalism to include chickens, if they are Japanese chickens thats okay, if they are Chinese chickens then they have some problems.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I wouldn't rely too much on the labels. Soon Chinese chicken farmers will get wise this and sell their chicken in bulk to a supplier in somewhere like Romania, who will repackage it and sell it to someone in Greece, who will sell it to a supplier in the U.S. and your Chinese chicken will arrive in Japan with a label reading "U.S. chicken" ... and a 50% mark-up because of all the middlemen plus it'll be quite old (but who's to know, each time they repackage it they just wash it down and slap a new "best before" date on it).

Japanese businesses have good expertise in relabelling they would do it economically rather than going through lengthy process described here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

More and more knowledge is becoming available all the time about what really healthy eating is, but at the same time fewer and fewer are able to afford the time or money to do it. This trend is likely to continue, and the number of people who live past 100 in Japan is likely to take a dive during the course of this century even as the medical knowledge on how to increase longevity improves. This should please those of our public leaders who think that old people should hurry up and die.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@blendover

More and more knowledge is becoming available all the time about what really healthy eating is, but at the same time fewer and fewer are able to afford the time or money to do it.

I partially agree, but only in the sense that the choices are not readily available here in Japan. Conversely, I think we have to push harder to change our habits, and the essence of the problem can be seen in the last moments of the video link I posted earlier. The group of people eating probably don't "need" everything that they have in front of them. If we all took just a little more care over eating, it could be a better place to live - and that's before we start tackling starvation in the rest of the world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why would anyone in their right mind eat so much junk food anycase? China or no China, junk food is junk food.

There's probably no need to get your body embalmed for your own funeral if you've eaten enough of this crap - the McD burgers sure as hell don't rot,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This story does not have much cred, it completely lacks detail, and is more extrapolation on net gossip. This is not to say that China does not have serious safety issues with food, however doesn't it seem suspicious that the only companies mentioned are American? I have had Japanese tell me seriously that KFC stores do not have rats around because they catch them and serve them. What is the message of this story, only buy safe Japanese fast food?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Nothing off topic about discussing food safety in Japan...

So freak out about China but ignore all the deaths in Japan by poor handling of food or better yet, cover ups? Yep, keep making China the issue all while ignore the food issues here.

Yeah, fishing in Fukushima!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Out of curiosity for anyone who knows, what is the equivalent of the US FDA in Japan and China or do they have one?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ah, never mind the internet is a wonderful thing. China's has the SFDA which is pretty rife with corruption. Japan has the Ministry of health & welfare. Follow the money folks, follow the money...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Anyone for some tasty PRC Yum brand food, they don't call it mystery meat for nothing.

Food safety in the PRC means,"pay the right folks and you can sell anything, label it anything you like".LOL

Man I am glad I live here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't understand why Japanese authority allows importing tainted Chicken meat and bird from Chinese where Chicken and birds are potential risk of bird flu. My Chinese friends from Communist China said their family does not eat chicken and pork now and also they have to wash Vegetable with dish washing soak because of pesticide and human waste on Vegetable. I do not buy any frozen Vegetable package from Supermarket which label packed in Australia or New Zealand with imported products and local products. Super Markets in Australian are still selling tainted products even though Australian and New Zealand food authority found some banned pesticide Chemical in imported Frozen Vegetable. Japanese Government must reinforce regulation on import food products ASAP.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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