Rotten in Denmark

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The New York Times points out that China is only the third most successful producer of dubious food. Federal inspectors refused more shipments from India and Mexico last year:

China has had much-publicized problems with contaminated seafood — including a temporary ban late last month on imports of five species of farm-raised seafood from China — but federal inspectors refused produce from the Dominican Republic and candy from Denmark more often.

For instance, produce from the Dominican Republic was stopped 817 times last year, usually for containing traces of illegal pesticides. Candy from Denmark was impounded 520 times.

The comparison itself is slightly dubious; Denmark's candy was rejected because of improper labeling, whereas Indian shrimp was actually tainted with Salmonella. But I think we'll all feel safer when Denmark executes its food czar. 

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  1. Candy from Denmark was impounded 520 times.

    I think 519 times went something like this:

    Federal Inspector: Mfrlolah Uhhmmm [chews swallows] Dis candy is no good. I will have to impound it.

  2. …for containing traces of illegal pesticides

    Anyone want to bet they are talking about DDT?

    I don’t think the Dominican Republic is really worried about slightly weakening the eggshells of some species of birds.

  3. Technical site-related question: Why did this H&R post suddenly show up as the third or so post down the page? I swear I didn’t see it here before. Why do slightly older posts suddenly show up “retroactively” now and then? I think it’s an important question for Reason staffers, because the glitch almost certainly shrinks a post’s audience. It frustrates me a little as a reader and commenter, too.

  4. The New York Times points out that China is only the third most successful producer of dubious food. Federal inspectors refused more shipments from India and Mexico last year:

    Hmm, that’s actually pretty impressive for China, considering we get so much stuff from there. I wonder if anyone will calculate a per-capita, or percentage of refused shipments. I didn’t RTFA, but based on the H&R post, it sounds like they just tallied the physical number of shipments refused.

  5. Cry havoc and let slip the chocolate morsels!

  6. I’ll take that bet, Taktix.

    DDT is not widely used for agriculture. OTOH, there are a considerable number of other pesticides that are banned in the US but commonly used abroad.

  7. joe,

    Perhaps DDT isn’t used much for the food supply, but I imagine that a tropical, mosquito-heavy island would try to do anything to kill the buggers — including spraying it in the packaging shops.

    I’m just guessing anyway. I know about as much about pesticides as we know about the Bush administration…

  8. Hmmm… The land of chocolate

  9. Brian Sorgatz,

    The time stamp used to order the postings may be created when the posting is first drafted rather than when it’s posted. It happens around here on occasion.

  10. If this is representative of danish candy, good riddance:

    http://www.candywrappermuseum.com/puhbae.html

    More Dutch salt licorice instead, please.

  11. Mmmm salt licorice.

    Two other items routinely seized by US Customs are Vegemite from Australia (because it’s fortified with vitamin B, go figure) and Kinder chocolate eggs from Germany, because they have small toys inside which could choke a witless American child. There is of course a thriving black market for these items among Australian and German expats in the U.S..

  12. Foil – yes, that is one of them (“world’s funniest candy”)

    the flaky chocolate, similar to a Cadbury’s Flake, they produce is tasty on ice cream…

    meh.

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