business news in context, analysis with attitude

CNN reports that as more and more Americans worry about eating food imported from China – a recent poll said that 46 percent of US residents are “very concerned” and another 28 percent are “somewhat concerned” about eating such imports – the fact remains that it is extremely difficult to avoid it.

The story uses as an example a Louisiana woman who decided to try not to buy anything made in China. Anything.

Not so much to make a political statement, according to the piece, but just to see if she could. “It was a way to try to understand in a very real and personal way my own family's connections to this big fuzzy concept of the global economy, and specifically to China,” she tells CNN.

And one of the places where it was most difficult to achieve her goal was in the supermarket. “"As much label reading as I did, there's no way I could know whether or not I was buying something with ingredients from China," she says. All she knew was that according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the United States imported $4.1 billion worth of seafood and agricultural products from China in 2006. In 1995, it was $800 million.

One of the things that the woman stopped buying – apple juice. CNN writes that “50 percent of the apple juice imported in the United States today comes from China. That's an estimated 161,000 tons of apple juice compared to the 110,000 tons produced in the United States, according to the USDA.”
KC's View:
Maybe it’s me, but I simply don’t understand why so many people think that there’s nothing wrong with this – that hiding this information isn’t in the best interests of consumers, and that the best interests of consumers are always in the long-term best interests of retailers and manufacturers.