Food for thought: China's Food Safety | 101 East

Food for thought: China's Food Safety | 101 East

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00:01
if there was ever a quintessential Chinese comfort food wonton noodle soup would be it once a meal reserved for Emperor's and described as a swallowing of clouds today it served on almost every street in China one ball with its noodles veggies and pork dumplings is supposed to contain all the nutrients you need but recent scandals over poisonous toxic food have sickened and
00:31
killed thousands in an undercover investigation we take a closer look at the ingredients that go into one ton soup and find a food industry serving up a cocktail of chemicals from the vast farmland of the world's largest food producing nation to its markets and kitchens adulterated food products are putting lives at risk and it's troubling for the rest of the globe too as made in China food is increasingly being exported to a table near you I'm Steve
01:04
Chow on this edition of one on one of these we're chasing a toxic trail of ingredients tainting China's food supply and we're doing it by following the making of one of Asia's most iconic dishes a seemingly simple Bowl a one tiny little soup long before others are up chef Mooji noon is already starting his day one of China's most renowned wonton soup makers he spent every morning since his youth working up the perfect Bowl it's a labor of love
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to glr woman Siberian my family has done this for generations when the school was passed on to me I vowed to give it my 100% so people can taste the same traditional bowl of noodle soup this centuries ago with recent scandals in China over tainted food who's agreed to show us how real food should be made the key to great taste he says is using natural ingredients nothing artificial another ingredient is time he stews is
02:16
broth for hours only at sunrise does Wu turn his attention to other elements of the one-ton dish flour and eggs are mixed needed and pounded into dough until it becomes the right consistency to be cut into his signature noodles cause in Java they may not city lights your house my noodles are made by hand and with lots of patience only the exact amount of time and ingredients will get it tasting silky smooth who knows too many his methods seem slow
02:51
and outdated especially in the fast-paced world of the new modern China today the busy lies of a new generation has meant people want their food quickly the danger rule says they have little time to think about what they're putting into their mouths that he says allows a profit hungry food industry to take advantage I've come to Beijing the heart of the country to meet a man who promises to show me the dark and dirty secrets of the food trail hey welcome
03:23
yeehaw hi-yah hi-yah Swaney dagger to attire our solonian man Tao moto-meter our Osuna are sitting here for more than 20 years Wang to Chung has worked as a chef in a multitude of restaurants and has made more than his fair share of wonton noodles but as each year goes by he feels lives are increasingly being put at risk move down the whole lobby I don't order that $100 fee at the moment the public can't even fathom the scale of how much illegal additives are being
03:53
used in food China's safety problem has reached such epic proportions that it needs to be addressed the problem is so extreme we come to a wholesale market which I'm told sells many illegal food additives filming with hidden cameras we make our way through the rows of sharps they offer everything a modern restaurant needs all in large quantities the first store wonk hb2 has walls stocked with bottles upon bottles of
04:24
chemicals their additives and according to Wang some of them are toxic harmful industrial solvents like melamine have on occasion been found inside these chemical mixers Wang zeroes in on ones that simulate the flavor of the meat in one tons with them he says you don't have to use any real meat when cooking at a second storm Wang asked for a
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flavoring for his won ton soup one that was substitute for hours of stewing then suddenly he decides to put the shopkeeper on the spot got my head out Josephson telling us together this way her ma'am are you a naughty girl she'll appreciate a bit energy hush in traditional community either each other community should be by the farmers illusion she's either misguided or
05:38
outright line under Chinese law selling items without detailed lists of ingredients is a crime with the shopkeeper getting suspicious we quickly by the soup flavoring along with other additives and leave we head for Wong's kitchen uh junior Nome dr. Tanya Honduran de pena de Wong wants to show me how easy it is to make a fully artificial bowl of wonton noodles when he says many restaurants today serve he guarantees it would taste exactly like
06:10
the real thing Portola MIFA Master Wu the authentic wonton soup maker uses eggs to give his noodles texture in color Wong adds a mysterious white powder to flour he says he has no idea what it's made of but it's a fraction of the cost of eggs and gives the dough it's needed consistency coming up how a college on Jamie Angeles yo holla there's no need to spend hours
06:40
working the dough in just a few minutes it's ready to be cut into noodles for the won tons master wu uses real pork meat for the filling but wang says many restaurants these days use an artificial filler it's basically another powder but when water is added the transformation to meet begins again we have no idea what it's made of come come I will miss Sanada I push on bro sha ha sure are oh man ah yes
07:13
hello i'm the back from shaman touch I adore Chun soo ah da hua ji Wang says the use of coloured additives beyond the legal limits set by the government is a common practice well show her I'm a hawk I'm shower them ba thanks to a range of unknown substances we see what started out as powder take on the smell taste and texture of real meat hmm both ha ha yeah or true or the
07:45
shower a hola Wang begins to cook the wontons and noodles what took master Wu hours is ready in just a few minutes oh mama son love it you are Lois y'all may read up you know Mia so Allah well the thought is a bit disgusting it's time for a taste test so master Wang says that this fake ball of one time util soup tastes exactly like the real thing only ok it's time to give it a try
08:17
hmm there's really lots of flavor the texture may not be exactly right but if you're seeing in a restaurant slurping this down you probably couldn't tell the difference the big question is what is this bowl doing to your body but Wang says its profit not health that restaurants are concerned about this bowl costs just 20 cents to make it's 5 times cheaper than making it with real ingredients they don't resin that it only shoes yet these vendors are blinded by greed the temptation of money has
08:50
corroded the soles of many people they put profit above all other things to find out just what toxins are lurking inside we send our additives along with our fake bowl of one tons to a lab for testing meanwhile we decide to delve further into the issue and visit more additives markets around the country we want to try to buy borax it's a chemical once commonly used to bleach noodles but was banned last year in China Forex is
09:25
considered a poison it's also a pesticide and fungicide with hidden cameras rolling my translator and I posed as restaurant tours and visit this sharp we were very clear with a shopkeeper just now that we wanted to buy borax to use in noodles and still he was willing to sell it to us five hundred grams or half a kilo is going for about a dollar fifty u.s. considering how cheap that is you have to suspect that it's still being commonly used in noodles despite it being illegal to do so in 2008
10:13
unscrupulous food producers were caught targeting the most vulnerable hundreds of thousands of children were rushed to hospital after they were fed toxic melamine in their infant formula normally used to make plastics and tabletops investigators discovered producers were using it to artificially boost protein levels in milk powder once eaten it can cause kidney stones and kidney failure while 21 food producers in all were found guilty the government sent only a handful of people to jr. two were
10:45
executed to this day eight-year-old shiney Lin has yet to recover from the melamine that poisoned her her mother has invited us to join them on one of their regular visits to hospital shiney Lin looks like any other energetic child but her mom says she's often very sick Jason do rookin and his jokes she's extremely weak and constantly feels pain in her back near the kidneys sometimes her face turns green and her lips get
11:15
pale she's even passed out before today shiney Lin is going for an ultrasound our producer takes her in as we film with hidden cameras shiney Lin's mum says the state-run Hospital has been covering up how sick her daughter really used in order to downplay the melamine scandal inside the medical technician gets chenille in ready for the ultrasound which is supposed to determine if she has kidney stones right from the start the technicians seem suspicious
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Naomi's imagine Hana they are television in the first ultrasound before the melamine scandal became big news doctors discovered she had a number of stones another clinic confirmed that diagnosis but in following tests after the scandal the state-run Hospital changed their tomb and today is no different but our producer sees white spots in the kidney scans and pushes the technician for
12:29
answers male female while denying there's anything seriously wrong doctors continue to give chenille in Chinese herbal medicine to help clear the calcification unable to afford expensive private clinics her family has no choice but to come back to the state-run Hospital her mother sees at what she sees as injustice meghana bunion Omega walk another day the government hasn't done anything it only
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covers things up and evades responsibilities officials from the province and village level have even warned me they will arrest me if I don't keep quiet without much money she kneel in resorts to questionable household remedies like jumping on a trampoline to try to shake the kidney stones out the vegetables they eat come from their own garden and are pesticide-free the family also goes to great lengths to ensure the rest of the food they eat is organic
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still whenever her mother sees her ill it breaks her heart why do you keep speaking out despite the threats despite the orders to stay silent you see each a possible stipulation she's all that I have and they've hurt my most beloved it's not about money it's more importantly because I cannot tolerate their treatment without public accountability her mother believes more children will be hurt by tainted food since the melamine scandal
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there have been numerous other examples from the sale of oil recycled from the gutter two watermelons exploded due to being overly juiced with growth hormones to rat meat sold this pork was household eat you are just young but heartless I always say either we starve to death or we die of toxic foods it's just a matter of time we're all in one cess pit stop at loam did other fun come is this in
14:41
the madessa policing the world's most populous nation isn't easy in 2012 more than half of all food producers failed government tests and even today in places like wet markets many sellers remain unlicensed when you walk through a massive market like this you really get a sense of how large China's food industry is at one time the Chinese government gave the responsibility for ensuring food safety to ten different ministries you can imagine the publications back causes and the
15:14
overlapping jurisdictions now the Chinese government is trying to change things officials say they are now centralizing control under a few ministries and are also drafting what they hail as their toughest food law to date but at this market in the capital food safety expert fan romwe finds lots of things still wrong including excessive growth hormones and produce like bean sprouts fabulous likely something was used like plant growth regulator that can make the
15:46
sprouts grow to this shape and size Yama Yama at this stall the shopkeeper dodges our cameras that leads fan to inspect the cow tripe it smells of industrial chemicals we ask him to buy the tripe and go to our next location for Fanta set up a portable food testing kit Angela done yep I don't hear your candy films about your patent see your Android tripe is a popular ingredient in noodle
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soups in Asia but fan says in China many vendors use industrial chemicals to make it appear fresher shall we de souza a minute ago he applies a testing agent whoa your pinion sir pn larvae are afraid on quite a billion sweet accessories you can Ollie enzorbia Honoka that I wrote it for me you will need these Roku is here come on the color says fan indicates that industrial grade sodium hydroxide is
16:48
presently normally used in metal making and printing some use it illegally to preserve food being highly corrosive it's not meant to be ingested make a mess and annoy you and your mama why are hospitals now so crowded people are getting sick not due to natural reasons like getting old but because of the unsafe food we are eating that makes us ill while in Beijing were invited to an expo on food safety it seems after the recent food scandals the government is abandoning
17:19
its usual rhetoric the official here offers a realistic picture of the challenges they face should be engineer from Renton that there's some type of antibody to keep epical far to the the open TT hypervisor some afterwards I try to get in a word with the official to ask him about the government's efforts but he waves us off and prefers instead to rub elbows with
17:49
companies marketing the latest in clean food technology food safety is a big business opportunity in China these days and there are lots of vendors eager to share the limelight with an important government official after chasing him around for quite some time he suddenly decides to lean well we've been trying to get a comment from this official but
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obviously he's not interested in talking with us it's a little bit frustrating because we chased him all through this exhibition despite that he's weaving now to learn more about the government's efforts we speak to a researcher at a state-funded Institute he insists the food safety situation has changed Sofitel a moment richards i limbani andrew whole since 2008 government departments have made many efforts and food supervision they're trying to improve the safety of the whole food supply system I can say food safety in
18:52
China is now guaranteed but that's certainly not what we discover pork is a key ingredient to wonton noodles and so we decide to visit a pig farm no one's around at this one but littering the ground are numerous packages of medicine so we go in for a closer look in 2012 China produced more than 50 million metric tons of pork that's several times more than any other country on the planet what do we have here wow this is a shelf
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full of chemicals they're drugs meant to treat all sorts of livestock sicknesses some you've been advertised that they can help pigs grow faster Wow look at this this is a box of general antibiotics you'll see the powder here the government has been trying to get tougher on the amount of antibiotics as well as growth hormones being used in farm animals but as you can see here this whole shelf is full of it they had to wonder what kind of chemical cocktail these pigs are being injected with
20:00
studies show the overuse of antibiotics especially in livestock are creating bacteria resistant to medicine and those bacteria can easily jump to humans when we consume the meat one of the owners suddenly appears we turn on our hidden cameras and pose as tourists my translator joins me as we take a tour around the farm he admits no one controls how much medicine he uses should I hope to get my oh I don't know
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yet he also shows us the feed known often to contain growth hormones he says in just a few months his pigs gained more than a hundred kilos well then Avengers later on the engine come on Harlan total Honda those who you could hide we then asked him about business cards found outside his gate offering to buy sick and dead pigs he bank really gentle a second resource thing to offer reduce and stop the vodka
21:11
and yeah Sansa selling sick and dead animals is illegal but it's not the only problem we find in the area another issue is the overuse of pesticides recent studies show that most farmland in China is today heavily contaminated by them scattered around this farm we find used pesticide packages Wang Jing from Greenpeace joins us here she spent the last four years studying the impact of insecticides Jenny shoot fumet her foolish wang xuan
21:43
when I was out on film who are you drawing on yeah some of them have been banned since the 1980s green pieces own research found farmers in China on average use up to five times the amount of pesticides as elsewhere in the world on one farm the group film pesticides killing chicks on the spot the group says oftentimes more than a dozen different toxins are used together well nah no chicken doll I only turkey today in China our addiction to
22:13
pesticides and fertilizers is making food safety the most serious of issues not a single day passes where we feel safe and happy with our lives because this issue has yet to be addressed as public alarm grows of the harm of toxins some in the food industry are stepping in to help these aren't shoppers they're a team of inspectors Walmart has hired to make surprise visits to their 140 stores in China after being caught in recent
22:46
scandals over meat and other tainted products the grocery giant is now spending more than 15 million dollars to try to insure their products are clean the testers collect random samples which are then taken to a mobile van each item is run through a cycle of tests if pesticides growth hormones or toxic industrial agents are found a supplier can be blacklisted but Walmart's lead
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food inspector admits the industry is often one step ahead introducing new harmful substances that tests can't detect Jesus in Hong Shangdong Tien quarters Angeles this is really a tough battle like the saying goes while the priest climbs oppose the devil climbs 10 but we're doing our best to constantly upgrade our testing capabilities to provide our customers with safe food the sheer volume of products Walmart must inspect is another challenge this is one
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of their distribution centers in many ways it offers a small window into the huge difficulties that lie in policing the country's food supply chain a difficulty that is becoming a global issue as China increasingly exports this food worldwide still authorities argue they're already doing their best Lamoni Toledano ma our challenge inspection chiefs from the US the EU the UK or elsewhere to try and tackle the Chinese market I don't think they were dead but our Authority is trying to make
24:19
excuses for a lack of trying in our undercover investigation following the trail of ingredients for one ton noodle soup we found food suppliers operating with very little supervision and oversight from the farms the markets to the kitchens as for the fake bowl of one-ton noodles our tests found a number of toxic substances in the flour used for noodles there was formaldehyde which is used
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preserved dead bodies but when eaten it can cause liver cancer in the mysterious white powder which we use to give noodles they're bouncy texture there were poisonous metals like lead cadmium and arsenic the lab also found borax the same illegal chemical we found for sale at the additives market it's so toxic but just a teaspoon can kill a child there are those who offer hope for China's food system huija news restaurant is packed daily
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with customers happy to have food they can trust you panic you got it from middle zone the noodles in most of the places have too heavy a chemical taste the ones here though tastes clean and sweet in an industry that's become driven by profit who hopes his individual stand will somehow improve food safety his mission to preserve a tradition of honest food making is truly a low me of go battle

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