"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Melamine found in more food additives and products from China

Who could've predicted?

Take a look at the latest news of melamine from China:
The Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday that protein powder imported from China was found to contain 1.90 parts per million (ppm) to 5.03ppm of melamine.

Health authorities randomly tested 13 batches of protein powder, six of which were contaminated with melamine.

The tainted powder was produced by two companies in China — Jilin Jinyi Egg Products Co Ltd (吉林金翼蛋品有限公司) and Dalian Green Snow Egg Product Co, Ltd (大連綠雪蛋品發展有限公司).

Of the 393 tonnes of protein powder imported from China this year, 261 tonnes imported from Jilin Jinyi and Dalian Green Snow were found to be contaminated with melamine, deputy health minister Cheng Shou-hsia (鄭守夏) said at a press conference yesterday.
That's just today's news.

Here's news from Hong Kong from just two days ago:
The discovery of excessive levels of the industrial chemical melamine in Chinese eggs has prompted the Hong Kong authorities to expand health tests to include meat products imported from China, a senior official said yesterday.

The move follows the announcement late on Saturday that Hong Kong testers had found 4.7 parts per million (ppm) of melamine in imported eggs produced by a division of China’s Dalian Hanwei Enterprise Group.

The legal limit for melamine in foodstuffs in Hong Kong is 2.5ppm.

Hong Kong Secretary for Food and Health York Chow (周一嶽) said the melamine may have come from feed given to the chickens that laid the eggs.
As people who've been paying attention might be able to guess, Chinese officials knew about this since at least last month.

Two days before that, after we had been assured multiple times by officials from the Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration's Department of Health that the products on Taiwan's shelves were safe -- you know what's coming -- melamine was discovered in Peacock Biscuits (孔雀餅乾):
Chiang Yu-mei (姜郁美), director of the Taipei health department’s food and drug division, said the results of the latest round of random tests came in yesterday, and that officials found one pack of Peacock Biscuits that contained 4.62 parts per million (ppm) of melamine.


Chiang said the company used powdered baking ammonia from Sesoda Corp, which had imported tainted ammonia from China. The powdered baking ammonia imported by Sesoda Corp was found to contain between 70ppm and 300ppm of melamine by the Department of Health (DOH) earlier this month.


The Bureau of Food Safety yesterday urged the public not to panic, saying that although the crackers used ammonium bicarbonate imported from China, the powder comprised less than 1 percent of their total volume.
There's a point that's been made by many that is worth reiterating: even "just" 0.7 - 3.0 ppm of melamine from your crackers, 2 more ppm from your milk powder, and all the other parts per million that we don't know about yet all add up to a greater danger than they're letting on to.

But, wait -- there's much more melamine to be had!

On October 21, 2008, we were told of melamine being found in Chinese fried bread sticks:
The Department of Health said yesterday that after testing several food products for melamine, two batches of Chinese fried bread sticks were found to contain 3.37 parts per million (ppm) and 4.29ppm.

Health departments across the country have randomly tested more than 100 batches of baked goods and other foods that are commonly prepared with ammonium bicarbonate, including cookies, bread, grilled squid, barbequed pork buns, wedding cakes, honeycomb cookies and cream puffs.


Businesses such as bakeries and food stands that do not use Chinese-made baking ammonia as a food additive are allowed to put up signs that say “No Chinese-made baking ammonia added, customers need not worry,” Cheng said.

On Saturday, ammonium bicarbonate imported by Sesoda Corp (東碱股份有限公司) from China’s Huaer Chemical Co (化二化工有限公司) was found to contain between 70ppm and 300ppm of melamine.

Of the 400 tonnes imported, more than 200 tonnes remain in circulation and have yet to be tracked down by health officials.
It was two full days earlier that we had learned of the contaminated baking ammonia:
While the DOH said that the melamine content was 70ppm to 300ppm, the Taipei City Government Department of Health issued a press release saying the concentration was between 1,410ppm and 2,470 ppm.

The DOH did not give an explanation for the discrepancy.


Ammonium bicarbonate is used in the food industry as a leavening agent. It is commonly used in biscuits, cookies, cream puffs and Chinese fried bread sticks (油條).
On October 18, 2008, we were being told that "the melamine crisis was almost over." That was 11 days ago.

What a fucking joke!

The most obvious way to avoid this is to stop buying China's crap.

Natural and artificial ingredients: , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Half a million or more at 1025 protest in Taiwan

Too numerous for some to properly estimate

A protest Saturday in Taipei against the harm brought upon the country by Ma "Don't Paint Me Red" Ying-jeou (馬英九) and China had a huge turnout.

At around 6 PM, the very blue Era News reported a turnout of "400,000" while FTV was saying "600,000" right up until 10 PM.

But when TVBS said that there were 500,000 people at an anti-Ma/anti-China rally, then you can be pretty sure that there were at least that many.

Reuters' headline
Talking Show (大話新聞) discusses Reuters' coverage
(Click to enlarge)

Even Reuters' Ralph Jennings -- of whom I've been extremely critical for getting the story very wrong when it comes to Taiwan -- tells us that "half a million" attended the protest:
Half a million march in Taiwan against China, president

Close to half a million people marched in Taiwan on Saturday to protest against the government's growing ties with China, where a tainted milk powder scandal has fueled fresh distrust toward Beijing among island citizens.

In the strongest display of opposition yet to President Ma Ying-jeou, demonstrators flooded central Taipei demanding that Ma step down over his friendly approach to Chinese officials.
I wasn't able to attend today's rally because I had to work, but Jerome Keating took part, and he replies to that report, saying, "I would concur with at least a half a million; perhaps more." Good to see a believable figure from Jennings this time around.

On the lower end of the crowd estimates, my wife heard on TV that the Taipei police claim that there were "200,000" participants, and in CNN's headline news segment, Rosemary Church says "tens of thousands" -- the same vague and inaccurate description used by the BBC.

What next?
As 10 PM approached and the event drew to a close, DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) says to be prepared to take to the streets again if the planned visit by Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) happens. Despite how Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) spokespersons and surrogates tried to spin the news, this was more than just "the DPP base" out there today, and neither Ma nor China are doing anything to satisfy them.

Keep your eyes and ears open.

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Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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Friday, October 24, 2008

A March for a Cause: Safeguard Taiwan's Sovereignty

Say No to China's Poison!

Barely five months into the presidency of Ma "Don't paint me red" Ying-jeou (馬英九), Taiwan has suffered too many problems related to its bellicose and untrustworthy neighbor China. As a result, Ma's popularity rating has plummeted to 23.6%, according to the latest survey by the very blue Global Views Magazine (遠見雜誌).. Now, the spineless and incompetent Mr. Ma has invited Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) to sign agreements -- unapproved by the people of Taiwan -- that will undoubtedly bring even more suffering to all of us here.

I shouldn't have to tell you anything more. If you don't want China interfering with your life, be there at the October 25, 2008 protest in Taipei!

0:27 YouTube video: "A March for a Cause: Safeguard Taiwan's sovereignty"

Here are the 5 marching routes which all converge on Ketagalan Boulevard (凱達格蘭大道) -- the road in front of the Presidential Office:
Routes of the 1025 march
Routes of the 1025 march
(Click to enlarge)

Here's one logo for the protest, "Oppose China's crappy merchandise, protect Taiwan":
Oppose China's crappy merchandise, protect Taiwan
A safe Taiwan is China-free
(Click to enlarge)

Forks in the road: , , , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

More melamine from China

The People's Republic of Poison?

From the cover story of today's Taipei Times:
In yet another food industry ban related to toxic chemicals from China, the Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday that an imported batch of powdered baking ammonia was found to contain between 70 parts per million (ppm) and 300ppm of melamine.


While the DOH said that the melamine content was 70ppm to 300ppm, the Taipei City Government Department of Health issued a press release saying the concentration was between 1,410ppm and 2,470 ppm.

The DOH did not give an explanation for the discrepancy.


Ammonium bicarbonate is used in the food industry as a leavening agent. It is commonly used in biscuits, cookies, cream puffs and Chinese fried bread sticks (油條).


Sesoda said in a press release issued yesterday that, of the 400 tonnes of ammonium bicarbonate it had imported from China, 20 tonnes remained in its warehouses countrywide, leaving 380 tonnes in circulation.

However, the company said it did not know whether all 380 tonnes are contaminated.


A source speaking on condition of anonymity said that health authorities had already detected melamine in ammonium bicarbonate a week ago, but waited until yesterday to make the announcement.

The source said that talk of melamine-contaminated baking ingredients had been circulating in the food industry for the past week.

In response, a DOH official who declined to be identified said that since the incident involving King Car Industrial Co (金車) last month, health authorities have been randomly checking certain materials for traces of melamine.
How much you wanna bet this isn't the last discovery of melamine-tainted imports from China?

Are you going to wait until it hits you right in the kidneys before you do everything you can to avoid buying things from China?

Bottles of fear on the wall: , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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Friday, October 10, 2008

New book by Dr. Shieh Ching-jyh

Get it before it's banned

I get letters [bracketed translations mine]:
You probably know Dr Ching Shieh's story too. He was falsely accused of corruption after having tackled the very difficult, world-first case of problems caused vibration from High Speed Rail (affecting Tainan technology park). He was put into jail without trial. The court has finally given him an 'innocence' verdit in August 2008. He has written his experience and thoughts in his new book, released only 2 days ago.

謝清志博士的blog [Dr. Shieh Ching-jyh's blog]
English: http://www.supportching.com/

He is having a new book (生命振動) ["A life shaken"] release tea party tomorrow [Saturday, October 11, 2008] at NTU [National Taiwan University] 台大校友會館4F [4th floor, NTU Alumni Association Meeting Hall] (台北市濟南路一段2-1號) [#2-1 Jǐnán Road, Section 1].
It's all in the details
The subject line and Chinese section of the above mail reveal a couple more details. The full title of the book is 《謝清志的生命振動》 (Dr. Ching Shieh's "A life shaken"), and the tea party will take place from 2:30 - 5:00 PM.

Dr. Ching Shieh's ''A life shaken''
Dr. Ching Shieh's "A life shaken"
(Click to enlarge)

Further reading:
* Here's something Michael Turton wrote about the case in real time on Taiwan Matters!

* On his own blog, Michael wrote about the acquittal.

The vics: , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Katyn comes to Taichung

Good movie for a Double Ten date?

Jerome Keating described Polish director Andrzej Wajda's 2007 film "Katyn" 《愛在波蘭戰火時》 as recalling Taiwan's tragedy -- a reference to the 228 Massacre of 1947. In a recent post, I recommended trying to catch it. Finally, Taichung moviegoers can, too.

Jerome sent me this clipping from one of yesterday's papers:

Go see Katyn in Taichung
Movie information
(Click to enlarge)

There was a "sneak preview" last night, but the "real" run of this "exclusive engagement" begins on Friday, October 10, 2008 at Wonderful Cinemas (萬代福影城). Here's some important text that may be hard to see in the ad above [translation mine]:
電話:04-2221-0356 地址:台中市公園路38號(公園路大誠街口)

Telephone: 04-2221-0536; Address: #38 Gongyuan Road, Taichung City (at the corner of Gongyuan Road and Dacheng Street)
Click on this link for a Google map showing the location of the cinema. Here's a link for showtimes, but Friday's schedule isn't yet online. Tickets, by the way, are listed as being NT$200.

UPDATE: Here are showtimes for both Friday, October 10 and Saturday, October 11, 2008: 10:10 [AM], 16:30 [4:30 PM], 20:10 [8:10 PM] [/update]

The words I wrote in my earlier post still stand:
And after you've viewed the film, try to view current events in Taiwan as if you were watching them from 50 years down the road. What do you see happening? What's in the near future for Taiwan? What part will you play in these events?
Be there, or allow the important lessons of history (and the opportunity to see anything in Taichung but blockbusters) to pass you by.

Images in motion: , , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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