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Food Safety Problems Fuel Growth In Chinese Organic Sales

August 30, 2010: 01:24 AM EST
The $1.5 billion Chinese organic food market is surging, thanks to a string of food safety scares involving toxic beans, tainted milk and pork, and dumplings contaminated with pesticides. The latest disclosure – investigators discovered that as much as ten percent of meals are cooked in discarded restaurant oil scoured from sewers – served as an additional shot in the arm for organic foods. According to reports, Chinese consumption of organic foods is double that of Japan, with sales quadrupling over the last five years. There are no laws to prevent the dredging and reselling of discarded restaurant oil, though the Chinese government promises action. Up to 20 percent of recovered oil is sold to biofuel makers, but the rest is apparently recycled back into the food chain.
Malcolm Moore, Nanhui, "China goes organic after scandal of cooking oil from sewers", Telegraph, UK, August 30, 2010, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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