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WASHINGTON – In the latest of a long line of scares over food imports from China, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the California Department of Public Health are warning the public not to eat fresh ginger from that country.
Certain batches of ginger, commonly used in Chinese and Japanese dishes, were found to be contaminated with traces of a hazardous pesticide called Aldicarb sulfoxide. The pesticide can cause humans to be poisoned within the first hour of exposure.
Ingestion of foods contaminated with low levels of aldicarb may cause flu-like symptoms (nausea, headache, blurred vision), which disappear quickly, usually within five or six hours, according to the California agency. At higher levels of ingestion, aldicarb-contaminated food can also cause dizziness, salivation, excessive sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle stiffness and twitching, and difficulty in breathing.
The ginger has been found in Albertson’s stores and Save Mart stories in Northern California.
So far, there have been no reports of illness as a result of consumption of the imported ginger. Individuals who may have consumed the ginger and are experiencing adverse health effects should contact their health care providers immediately, according to the California agency.
Scandals over Chinese food exports unfit for human consumption have been breaking around the world – making a major impact on the country’s economy and fragile psychology.
Following the pet food poisoning that killed or maimed an estimated 39,000 cats and dogs in the U.S., WND embarked on an investigation of other Chinese imports. What it has found to date:
- Foods imported for consumption by American humans may be, in some cases, as dangerous as the pet food. A WND study found the vast majority of imported foods rejected as unfit for human consumption by the Food and Drug Administration are from China. FDA inspectors report tainted food imports intended for American humans are being rejected with increasing frequency because they are filthy, are contaminated with pesticides and tainted with carcinogens, bacteria and banned drugs.
- China, the leading exporter of seafood to the U.S., is raising most of its fish products in water contaminated with raw sewage and compensating by using dangerous drugs and chemicals, many of which are banned by the Food and Drug Administration.
- The deadly contaminant found in Chinese-made toothpaste – diethylene glycol – is a solvent used in antifreeze that killed 107 Americans when it was introduced in an elixir 70 years ago.
- A resurgence in lead-poisoning cases in U.S. children is being linked to Chinese imports – toys, makeup, glazed pottery and other products that contain significant amounts of lead and are being recalled by the CPSC on a regular basis.
- Imports from China were recalled by the CPSC twice as often as products made everywhere else in the world, including the U.S., showed a WND study of 2007 government reports.
- The rising cost of fireworks, almost all of which are made in China, as well as safety concerns and human rights concerns about the conditions of those manufacturing the products resulted in a decrease of Independence Day displays in the U.S.
- WND revealed there are currently no safety standards established between the U.S. and China on food, drugs and other imports. As a result of WND’s series, members of Congress began working on setting new standards.
- WND revealed how China is shipping to the U.S. honey tainted with a potentially life-threatening antibiotic as well as adulterating exports with sugar.
The scandals are having a major impact on Chinese society, too.
“The food security problems have impeded Chinese agri-products and food many times in international trade, and damaged our national credibility and image,” Sun Xianze, director of food safety coordination at the State Food and Drug Administration, said at a weekend seminar.
“The occurrence of food safety incidents or cases not only affects the healthy development of the whole industry, but also may impact upon economic and social stability.”