Tags: Food Fraud

National Geographic Reports – Chemicals Causing Infertility in Pigs are Present Throughout Human Consumer Goods

Some of the same chemicals found in the pigs’ semen storage bags are routinely used in packaging food for humans and are known to migrate into food. 

Cyclic lactone, for instance, is a common by-product in adhesives used in potato chip bags and sliced meat packages. It was one of the chemicals found in high levels in the semen bags that had been used on the farms with the highest rates of reproductive failure.

Another chemical found in high levels on those farms: a compound called BADGE, a derivative of the notorious bisphenol A (BPA). It’s the building block of epoxy resins that form the basis for 95 percent of food and beverage can linings in the U.S.

- From the excellent and troubling article recently published by National Geographic, Infertility in Spanish Pigs Has Been Traced to Plastics. A Warning for Humans?

One of Liberty Blitzkrieg’s primary themes in 2013 was “food fraud.” When I use that term, what I am really referring to is the troubling fact that many of the things we consume are not what they seem to be based on what is represented by the package. From a study that showed food fraud in the U.S. was up 60% year-over-year, to pink slime in meat and the fact that the majority of “tuna” served isn’t actually tuna, the examples are seemingly endless.

If all of that wasn’t enough to convince you of how important it is to be aware of exactly what you put in your body, I don’t know what is. This is precisely why Monsanto (possibly the most evil corporation on earth) is so aggressively fighting GMO labeling bills such as the one recently passed by Vermont.

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Hot Pockets Recalls 8 Million Pounds of Meat Due to “Diseased and Unsound Animals”

Last year saw a great number of widely publicized instances of food fraud and general nastiness when it came to the various items many of us regularly put in our bodies. From “fake tuna,” to rat meat in the streets of Shanghai, to alcohol in New Jersey diluted with “river water,” the list was seemingly endless.

While 2014 has been off to a slow start, it appears the corporate food industry in America is trying to make up for lost time. According to a news release from the USDA on Valentine’s Day titled: “California Firm Recalls Unwholesome Meat Products Produced Without the Benefit of Full Inspection,” we discover that:

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2014 – Rancho Feeding Corporation, a Petaluma, Calif. establishment, is recalling approximately 8,742,700 pounds, because it processed diseased and unsound animals and carried out these activities without the benefit or full benefit of federal inspection. Thus, the products are adulterated, because they are unsound, unwholesome or otherwise are unfit for human food and must be removed from commerce, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

Oh, and by the way, this is a Class I recall. What does that mean?

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 5.18.53 PM

Basically if you live California, Florida, Illinois, Oregon, Texas and Washington you should stay away from Hot Pockets.

Scratch that. You should stay away from Hot Pockets no matter where you live. Forever.

Full USDA release here.

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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At KFC in China the Ice Cubes are “Dirtier than Toilet Water”

I’ve covered food fraud, stealth inflation and related topics rather consistently for the past couple of years. As one might expect, China has been a hot spot for such activity, including the classic example of rat meat being served as lamb on the streets of Shanghai. Well here’s the latest controversy, ice cubes at KFC that are not just dirtier than toilet water, but 13x dirtier. YUM! From Business Week:

Having battered KFC with reports last year that the company sold chicken fattened on illegal drugs, China Central Television now says the ice cubes at a KFC restaurant are dirtier than toilet water. The state-owned broadcaster found that ice in a Beijing outlet had 13 times as much bacteria as water from a toilet bowl and 20 times the national limit. (McDonald’s ice, according to the CCTV report, had less bacteria than toilet water but still didn’t meet national standards.)

Sure, we’re talking about a cup of ice from one of KFC’s 4,429 restaurants in China. But that didn’t stop CCTV’s report this week from spawning global headlines or getting reposted more than 100,000 times over the weekend on Sina Weibo (SINA), China’s largest microblogging site. With Yum Brands planning to open at least 700 new KFC stores across China this year, the fallout raises questions about the depth of the challenge to the Colonel’s reputation.

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Operation Swill: New Jersey Bars Caught Serving Fake Alcohol

It’s been a little while since my last food fraud post on rat meat being sold as lamb on the streets on Shanghai.  It’s been an even longer time since the last post on stealth inflation in alcohol when Maker’s Mark announced it was diluting its product (they ultimately backtracked due to consumer outrage).  Well, the following post combines both food fraud and stealth inflation all in one.  Apparently, we can’t even drink in peace anymore.

Pro Tip:  You may want to avoid TGI Fridays when in New Jersey.  From CBS:

TRENTON, NJ (CBS) — The New Jersey Attorney General and the Director of the division of Alcoholic Beverage Control released details Thursday on the investigation into dozens of establishments in the state accused of selling cheap — or even fake — alcohol to customers from premium bottles.

State Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa says samples were taken from numerous establishments after complaints from consumers and other sources. Spirit samples, bought at the bars and restaurants, were ordered “neat” in January and February and then sent for testing. Chiesa says some of the substitutions bordered on dangerous.

“There were a couple of incredibly interesting ones, one was described to me as essentially “river water” — they didn’t even think it was actually tap water. Another one we believe was rubbing alcohol and caramel color to make it look like a whiskey.”

The bars and restaurants named in the investigation are:

Railroad Café, East Rutherford
The Brick House, Wycoff
Sunset Tavern, Burlington
Graziano’s Ristorante, Chesilhurst
Villari’s Lakeside, Gloucester Township
Yesterdays, Marmora
TGI Fridays, West Orange
Italian Affair, Glassboro
Bells Tavern, Lambertville
TGI Fridays, East Windsor
Brunswick Grove, East Brunswick
TGI Fridays, Old Bridge
TGI Fridays, North Brunswick
TGI Fridays, Piscataway
TGI Fridays, Freehold
TGI Fridays, Marlboro
TGI Fridays, Hazlet
Murray’s, Dover
TGI Fridays, East Hanover
Sona Thirteen, Morristown
Blackthorn Restaurant, Parsippany
Ruby Tuesday, Bridgewater
TGI Fridays, Linden
Café 34, Matawan
Applebee’s, Kearny
Cucina Calandara, Fairfield
TGI Fridays, Woodridge
TGI Fridays, Springfield
TGI Fridays, Clifton

Chairman Bernanke, please enlighten us.  Is this inflation or deflation, and how much money printing will it take to solve the problem?

Full article here.

In Liberty,
Mike

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Forget Horse Meat or Fake Tuna, Rat Meat is Being Sold as Lamb in China

It seems as if those engaged in food fraud just want to keep escalating their game.  First we were horrified by horse meat and fake tuna, then dog meat, but now it’s gotten worse.  Much worse.  In China, the food fraudsters have take things to an entirely new level by mixing rat, fox and mink meat with gelatin additives and passing it off as lamb.  You may want to avoid that food cart next time you’re in Shanghai.  From The Washington Post:

BEIJING — Chinese police have broken up a criminal ring accused of taking meat from rats and foxes and selling it as lamb in the country’s latest food safety scandal.

The Ministry of Public Security released results of a three-month crackdown on food safety violators, saying in a statement that authorities investigated more than 380 cases and arrested 904 suspects.

Among those arrested were 63 people who allegedly ran an operation in Shanghai and the coastal city of Wuxi that bought fox, mink, rat and other meat that had not been tested for quality and safety, processed it with additives like gelatin and passed it off as lamb.

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IKEA Recalls Almond Cake After Finding Fecal Bacteria

You thought horse meatballs were bad?  You haven’t seen anything yet.  The iconic Swedish furniture store, where apparently some people buy groceries, has been forced to recall a batch of its almond cakes in 23 countries “after Chinese authorities said they contained coliform bacteria, normally present in fecal matter.”  You know it’s bad when China calls you out on your food quality.  From Raw Story:

Swedish furniture giant Ikea pulled a batch of almond cakes from its restaurants in 23 countries on Tuesday after Chinese authorities said they contained coliform bacteria, normally present in faecal matter.

The Swedish-made cakes had failed tests “for containing an excessive level of coliform bacteria, according to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine,” the Shanghai Daily website wrote.

Ikea said 1,800 Taarta Chokladkrokant cakes — described on its website as an almond cake with chocolate, butter cream and butterscotch — were destroyed in December after being intercepted by Chinese customs.

God Aptit!

Full article here.

In Liberty,
Mike

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Aspartame: Coming to a Milk Carton Near You (Without a Label)

Rightly or wrongly, aspartame is a highly controversial artificial sweetener.  I’m no scientist and I haven’t researched it throughly enough to come to my own conclusion, but generally I try to eat minimally tampered with foods.  This is where this story begins to present serious issues for me.  The debate here is not whether aspartame will be allowed in milk; it already is.  The issue is whether or not dairy producers will have to let consumers know that it is there.  In a world where tuna isn’t tuna and beef is increasingly horse meat, we should demand more information than ever before as far as the substances we put in our bodies.  As usual, I would expect the FDA to side with the lobbyists and corporate America rather than consumers’ best interests.  From the Huffington Post:

Got diet milk? The dairy industry for the past three years has been hoping to sell you some under the guise of just plain “milk,” so that chocolate and strawberry varieties that contain artificial sweeteners would no longer need to carry a special label.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledged a 2009 petition from the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation that seeks to drop the FDA requirement to label milk and other dairy products as “artificially sweetened” when they contain sweeteners such as aspartame.

Aspartame is used in a range of products, including diet soda and yogurt, and is sold to consumers under the brand-name Equal (which also includes some other ingredients). Some researchers have found that artificial sweeteners alter people’s brain chemistry, making them crave higher-calorie foods, which in turn makes them more prone to obesity and diabetes.

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New Study Shows 59% of “Tuna” Sold in the U.S. Isn’t Tuna

This is just the latest revelation in the stealth inflation and food fraud theme I have written about frequently in recent months.  The non-profit group Oceana took samples of 1,215 fish sold in the U.S. and genetic tests found that that 59% of those labeled tuna were mislabeled. It seems that “white tuna” should be avoided in particular as “84% of fish samples labeled “white tuna” were actually escolar, a fish that can cause prolonged, uncontrollable, oily anal leakage.”  Oh and if you live in my hometown of New York City, you should pay particular attention:

Big Apple has big problem with seafood fraud:  94 percent of tuna and more than three quarters of sushi samples in New York City mislabeled. 

Of the 142 fish samples collected in New York, 39 percent were mislabeled. New York City led the nation with the highest occurrence of mislabeled salmon as well as the highest amount of fraud among salmon collected from grocery stores and restaurants. 

National Seafood Fraud Testing Results FINAL by Oceania

 

Bon appétit!

In Liberty,
Mike

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