Chinese officials have tightened their restrictions on olive oil imports, pledging to block Australian consignments that contain minute traces of plasticizer. While this may be step up for China’s food safety, we fear that it’s also another attempt to direct attention away from far more heinous plasticizer scandals and other food safety issues at home – a tactic Chinese authorities seem to excel at. ABC reports:
Lisa Rowntree, from the Australian Olive Association, admits the food standards are tough.
“So they test for a whole range of residue stuff that might come from chemicals. They’re also testing for a thing called DEHP plasticiser.
“It appears to have been just for the plastic pourer, but now it’s being applied to the oil, so that’s proven challenging for the industry.”
Ms Rowntree says despite this, the market is still worth pursuing.
“A producer here on the domestic market in the supermarket may only get $5 for their bottle of oil and in a boutique market, may get $7 to $10.
“Well, you could look at getting maybe $15 for your bottle if you were able to market it in a good area in China, that was very cashed up and health-conscious.”
Meanwhile, restrictions on domestic plasticizers seem extremely lax, or at least not enforced, as plasticizer/everything scandals run rampant on this side of the Great Wall. In fact, imported foodstuffs seem to be increasingly the only safe things to eat, so blocking them while letting internal food scandals run amok might actually prove detrimental to food safety in China.
Not to mention that China hasn’t exactly exported the most sparkling foodstuffs to the rest of the world. C’mon guys, you can’t dish it out and not take it.