China Upset About "Hazardous" US Soybeans

China says US Soybeans have quality issues and are putting their consumers at risk, according to the WSJ:

Supplies from the U.S. are often found to be contaminated with harmful weeds and soybean disease, while some don’t match Chinese quality standards, said the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine in a statement published on its Web site. The Administration also said a U.S. soybean shipment in February was contaminated with pesticide, which exposed domestic consumers to risk. China will continue to strengthen its supervision and inspection of soybean imports, according to the statement.

According to the WSJ, analysts are saying that the complaint is just a retaliatory political statement because they’re still miffed at all the bad press they’re getting. China is the world’s largest importer of soybeans, and are apparently quite touchy about the whole recalled product issue. Hey, it’s nothing personal, China.

China Complains About Quality Of Soybean Imports from U.S. [Wall Street Journal]
(Photo:D.B. Bias)

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  1. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    So, I’m wondering if China is as dependent on us for soybeans as we are them for cheap consumer electronics & shoddily made clothes?

  2. crashman2600 says:

    US Poison Tractor, HAH!

  3. Phuturephunk says:

    Yeah, because the wholesale dumping of stuff like Arsenic and PCB’s in to the water table over there is so much safer than a bit of bug juice.

  4. ChrisC1234 says:

    “Chinese quality standards,” HAHA… what an oxymoron.

  5. legalbeagle123 says:

    It’s just a shot across our bow.

    Buy our lead-tainted toys and used chopsticks, or we’ll put Iowa farmers out of business just in time for the caucuses.

    When you deal with the devil, you gotta pay the devil his due.

  6. ScramDiggyBooBoo says:

    I bet they will be careful eating those soybeans while they are in there formaldehyde soaked clothes and their children are gnawing on lead painted toys..but watch out, them soybeans might have some “harmful weeds” in them.

  7. MENDOZA!!!!! says:

    apparently revenge is a dish best served with tofu

  8. Falconfire says:

    Its quite simple really, though you know our government would never do it be cause it might cost our companies money (god forbid). Tell US companies more than 70% of your production must be done in the US, and once thats done, cut all imports and exports to China.

    You solve two problems with one solution. First you force US companies to stop exporting jobs so that their executives can make a couple million more (under the guise of bullshit keeping prices low which everyone knows is a complete and utter lie, its to keep profits as high as possible and you can easily see the disproportioned salaries of CEO’s and CFO’s to prove this)

    And second you punish that pimple of a country to the point that hopefully their billions of citizens would grow a set of balls and hang their government.


    (yes I realize that this is completely a hairbrained idea, but Im so sick of the Chinese government at this point, and our pandering to it.)

  9. 3ZKL says:

    all the soy beans i export to china are just pintos painted with soy coloured lead paint.

  10. Xabora says:

    We would like to know which harmful weeds and soybean disease(s) that they are talking about… XD

  11. Buran says:

    My irony sense is tingling.

  12. sr71pav says:

    Require things to be built in the US and immediately the prices will jump. You’re not going to change the profits, you’re going to cause inflation. It’s no different than increasing corporate taxes, it doesn’t affect the company, they’ll just raise prices. All corporate taxes are paid by the consumer not the company, and any increase in wages will be paid by the consumer and not the company.

  13. Elvisisdead says:

    @Falconfire: It’s not that harebrained. The PRC doesn’t have the hard currency reserves to rebound from us cutting all imports. They depend on us to provide them with funds that they use to buy things from everyone else. If we actually did that, it would be bad news in Beijing within 3 months.

  14. Falconfire says:

    @Elvisisdead: right but as sr71pav pointed out, we would be screwed just as well, since companies care so much more about profit margins that they would cause a huge spike in inflation.

    It really is somewhat scary to think of how screwed this country is in the future due to our consumerism and the way unchecked capitalism is going. Unfortunately looking around I have yet to see a system thats remotely better than ours now.

  15. pine22 says:

    i think we just need more quality control and testing on products if companies are going to have factories in other countries with lower standards.

  16. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    I worked in Asia for 7 years (Hong Kong, Philippines, Thailand) and this is a common problem. The American values of putting everything out in the open (e.g. lots of press, nationwide toy recalls) are contrary to Asian values of saving face and keeping these types of problems hidden. As U.S. and China economies become more interdependent, these things will work themselves out but it’s going to be messy. China will not quit importing soybeans from the U.S. but don’t be surprised to see a big announcement that they’ll be importing more soybeans from Brazil.

  17. randombob says:

    the “solution” is to cap Executive salaries somehow. I’ve long championed the idea of tying their salaries/earnings to some percentage of the lowest-paid employee in the company. It would (theoretically) fix the pay scales from top to bottom. If the CEO wants more $$, he has to pay the lowest worker better. Well, if he does that and the janitor is making as much as middle-management, middle-management is going to want a (justified) wage increase to account for their added responsibility, etc.

    It could be capitalism’s salvation. Because right now I agree it’s way out of whack. Capitalism unchecked is as bad as anything else if you’re not the 1% at the top profiting from everyone else’s silly adherence to your rules that you’ve set up to maintain your stranglehold on 90% of the nation’s wealth.

  18. spinachdip says:

    @sr71pav: I wonder how screwed we’d really be. Sure, labor is significantly cheaper in China, but you’re also dealing with extra costs that come with having an overseas manufacturing site, i.e. shipping, increased travel for execs, tariffs, extra legal and PR, not to mention bribing local Communist Party officials.

    Plus, any major US manufacturer setting up a plant in the US would benefit from some sweet, sweet corporate welfare.

    Considering the stuff corporations resist so hard so often cost cents on the dollar, I wouldn’t be so quick to say “OMG we have to import from China or WE’RE SCREWED” without actually looking at the real savings.

  19. Peekoos says:

    @Cassifras: Oh my, that made me laugh outloud. Good one.

  20. DojiStar says:

    Oh those wacky China men!!

  21. NoWin says:

    For some reason all I think of now is that image of Kurt Russell in “Big Trouble in Little China” with the lipstick on his mouth.

  22. elf6c says:

    Ah sweet sweet hamfisted Chinese retaliation. When lying, cover-ups and questionable “suicides” aren’t getting the job done. . . .

  23. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    Chinese quality standards….lol that made me spew Coke across my desk at work and tears spring forth from mine eyes…

  24. boandmichele says:

    @Nemesis_Enforcer: you must have gotten ahold of some walmart produce or something. ive heard that things from walmart can cause vomiting and crying. :p

  25. Onouris says:

    Oh that’s quite funny. When someone claims something is wrong with Chinese goods, which the powers that be in China are ashamed of, it’s 100% fact.

    When the same claims are made about America it’s not true?

    Roll on the Propoganda Train! Choo Chooooo!

  26. RandomHookup says:

    I’m sure this is just a case of some bean farmer forgetting where his marijuana patch is and harvesting it accidently. Used to be a big source of ‘income’ to farmers when I was growing up.

  27. teqsundotcom says:

    he’s just trying not to get executed! Seems to be the case with all of the recalls going on.

  28. lincolnparadox says:

    @spinachdip: Worst case scenario, any products that we would buy from China would start being made in Mexico. Sure, it might be a bit more expensive than China, but still cheaper than paying Americans. That’s what the corps would do. American manufacturing is dead, except for items that are just too big to ship from overseas.

    Honestly, I’d welcome a trade boycott with China. With the amount of bad press they’ve been getting, and that threat that they made over the value of the yuan a few weeks back, the American consumer should start checking labels. That and the $150 billion+ trade deficit would go down, the Chinese would buy less government securities, and the US might even rebuild its industrial base.

    God help us if we ever go to war. We can’t build anything ourselves anymore.

  29. appleface says:

    I was talking to a Nutritionist a couple days ago about food products from China. They told me that US crops have just as many pesticides as the crops in China.

    I then found out the UK has much stronger standards regarding the use of pesticides. If you want to eat fewer pesticides, buy food grown in the UK.

  30. Buran says:

    @sr71pav: Oh, right, like how when everything WAS made in the US, we were all homeless, destitute, and unable to buy anything. So I guess those economic booms in the 50s and then a number of times since were all our imaginations?

    Give me a break.

  31. jaredgood1 says:

    Pesticides, eh? Hey China, you know what I do to prevent eating soybeans (or any other vegitable/fruit) that might be contaminated by pesticides? I wash them before eating them.
    Works pretty dang well.

  32. spinachdip says:

    @lincolnparadox: If “Made in Mexico” is the worst case scenario, I’d happily take it.

  33. nan says:

    Pot, have you met kettle?

  34. miborovsky says:

    Ahh this time America implements protectionist trade policies.

    Karl Marx is orgasming in his grave.

  35. Falconfire says:

    @Onouris: We are talking about a country that repeatedly produces “century” eggs through the use of lead oxide sometimes, and who jailed a reporter for “making up” a story about the fact that some Chinese restaurants where using lye soaked cardboard flavored in pig fat to make dumplings.

    As bad as you want to pretend American food is (which its not but you would never know this thanks to the media) Its not Americans putting antifreeze in dog and cat food, or using a paint and glass additive to make artificially old rotten eggs.

    The worse you could say is we use too many chemicals in protecting our crops from fungus and insects, but then this is coming from a country that has been documented to dump thousands of tonnes of toxic waste in their drinking water.

  36. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @boandmichele: Nah I try to not get within 2000 feet of a walmart…to many idiots its dangerous to even drive by one.

  37. shiftless says:

    They could just pay more for pesticide-free Soybeans. I’m certain they know how the damn things are grown.

  38. TechnoDestructo says:

    It’s time to ban the import of Chinese sour grapes.

  39. boandmichele says:

    @Nemesis_Enforcer: for real, though. :)

  40. Trai_Dep says:

    Guys. The cost savings from outsourcing, once you factor in the increased oversight, shipping and admin costs, are only about 30%. Look it up.

    Just because Chinese laborers make 1/10th doesn’t mean the savings is 10x.

  41. Trai_Dep says:

    I’d want to have both sides’ products tested independently. If the US sent contaminated products, they replace it and pay 10x penalties. Drawn from an escrow import/export account overseen by a mutually trusted agent. And vice-versa. Keep a tally, see who comes ahead.

    Oh, and if the US company is shipping poisoned grain, put them on increased scrutiny for domestic use (like 50% of lots are tested).

    It’s fair. It’s equitable. It’s transparent.

    And, I’m confident that once ours versus theirs are tallied, we’ll come out smelling like roses.