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Jeremy Haft Headshot

Peanut Corporation of Shijiazhuang

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You'd think the Peanut Corporation of America was headquartered in China. They discovered salmonella twelve times over the past two years at a Georgia plant, yet they chose to ship out contaminated peanut butter regardless. Sounds a lot like the Chinese dairy company Sanlu that knowingly sold melamine-laced milk powder. In both cases, kids died. In both cases, the regulators were none the wiser. U.S. food processors aren't required to submit lab test results to the FDA. Even when the results may warn of an outbreak that could kill people. Neither are Chinese food processors.

China's system is broken, and so is ours. There are eerie similarities between the two. Hamstrung regulators, where agencies lack the budgets and the legal mandate to enforce quality control. Callous companies that refuse to police their own products -- even when it could prove fatal to consumers. And a population in the dark and at risk.

Unfortunately, both China and America are part of the same food and drug supply. Remember the Chinese blood thinner that killed American patients in American hospitals? We import more and more of our food and drugs from a country that can't police its own quality. The obvious fact that we can't is a Big Problem. Food and drug safety should be elevated to the priority of national security. China and America must work together immediately to untangle the Gordian knot that binds us together before more people die.

"Sometimes the milk can hurt you...It could get on your face then, it could eat your complexion, you could die from the danger, of the dangerous kitchen." -- Frank Zappa, "The Dangerous Kitchen"