In light of Shanghai’s spoiled meat scare the local FDA is requiring five foreign food firms to release the names and info of their meat suppliers online. And seeing as domestic food firms have yet to be told to follow suit, it’s clear that ‘foreign food’ is once again the whipping boy for China’s internal food safety woes.
The five scapegoats are McDonald’s, Yum Brands, Burger King, Dicos and Carl’s Jr, all of whom have complied with the order to post the info and names of their suppliers online for public scrutiny, SCMP reports. The
MaCarthyist with hunter watchdog also named Papa John’s Pizza, which is currently in the process of publishing its info.
Meanwhile, the FDA is ignoring the ceaseless food safety violations committed by local food firms, none of whom have been forced to air their dirty laundry online.
Even locals are starting to call BS on the measure. Says Shanghaier Chen Shunrong, “I don’t mean to defend foreign brands such as KFC and McDonald’s … I would still vote for them because the local restaurants seem to be worse. But why do the authorities intend to investigate and punish only the foreign suppliers?”
What he doesn’t realize is that finding a ‘fall guy’ to throw the scent off internal problems that would expose major cracks in the system appears to be a running trend in every sector. For food safety the ‘bogeyman’ is clearly foreign firms, for AIDS it’s ‘gay internet usage,’ and for smog it’s everything from fog to outdoor BBQ.
Some speculate that this latest measure could even be a protectionist ploy to give local firms an edge by crippling the foreign competition – a method that’s becoming increasingly common in all industries. And in the case of fast food, it appears to be working.