Wednesday, July 13, 2011

In China, Organic Produce is For The Elite Only

A produce vendor stopping for lunch. Photo courtesy: Flickr, babasteve

LA Times has a report about how organic produce is sold in China, providing a glimpse into what life might eventually be like, in the USA, if House Republicans fully codify their Libertarian beliefs (which assumes they would put an end to funding USDA Organic registration).

As things stand, US, Canadian and most European citizens have a choice: if they want to eat factory farm produce and dairy they can do that; or, they can spend a little more for USDA-certified organic food. In China, on the other hand, the good stuff is saved "...for officials only. They produce organic vegetables, peppers, onions, beans, cauliflowers, but they don't sell to the public," said Li Xiuqin, 68, a lifelong Shunyi village resident who lives directly across the street from the farm but has never been inside. "Ordinary people can't go in there."

The LAT article-ending cite epitomizes the political context:
The continued existence of the tegong, or special supply, is treated with secrecy because of public resentment over the privileges of the elite. After the Southern Weekly, a hard-hitting Guangzhou-based newspaper, published the story about the customs farm, the Central Propaganda Department banned further reporting on the subject and the article was removed from the newspaper's website.
Probably the "special supply" food is commonly served up with a side of shark fin soup.

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