We told you about the fake water, we told you about the fake buns, and if you’ve been reading this blog a while now, you’d have realised by now we told you about a gazillion other fake products as well. Just when we thought we’d reached the frontier, China Daily comes along to tell us that the Beijing Television report we showed you was – well you guessed it – fake! A temporary employee surnamed Zi was found to have directed a video that showed how the cardboard-filled buns were made. He used a home digital video camera for the report, the TV station said. After Beijing’s food safety watchdog and industrial and commercial administration began a citywide inspection, and found no evidence of the cardboard buns, Zi was detained by the police. Damn, it was such a believable fake story wasn’t it?
Update: EastSouthWestNorth translates a story from Southern Metropolis Daily tracing how the story of the bogus buns was found to be fake, and says kudos to the netizens who raised the following doubts from the beginning:
1. How can you eat something that had been soaked in caustic soda? The spice cannot cover up the taste. How big must a bun store be in order to maintain the normal profits after accounting for the caustic soda, flour, pork and spice materials as well as water, electricity, rent and labor? You must make “at least 1,000 yuan more per day.” So how many buns do you have to sell in order to realize that? Is it possible that nobody could taste the difference after so many years?
Truth: According to Zi, caustic soda was not used during the filming. The caustic soda comment was added to enhance the audio-visual impact.
2. The film angles did not appear to be made stealthily. Many of the shots came from very good angles. Some of the shots did not appear to come from a hidden camera.
Truth: This was not a stealth job. This was a fixed set-up.
3. Throughout the report, the Industry and Commerce Department never made clear what the stall workers did wrong. In the end, the Industry and Commerce Department banned them because they had neither public health permit nor business license, not because they were using cardboard to make bun fillings. There was not even a mention of the term “waste cardboard boxes” from the Industry and Commerce Department.
Truth: The Industry and Commerce Department made a sweep of all the conceivable shops and stalls that could be selling breakfasts in the Chaoyang district and did not find anyone using cardboard to make bun fillings.
4. A netizen concluded: there may have been a rumor that cardboard was being use to make bun fillings; the reporter was intrigued; he found a few migrant workers and staged a “news story” in which the reporter discovered and filmed how waste cardboard was being turned into bun fillings.
Truth: The netizen’s speculation was very close to the results of the investigation.
Photo from shoodoop.
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