Food Safety in China: The Cost

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Thanks to reader Richard Brubaker at the allroadsleadtochina blog for pointing us to a report (their website summary here along with links to pdf and power point versions of the report) by consultants A.T. Kearney that puts a number on the subject of my last post, what it will take to fix China’s regulatory system. “China’s food safety process is broken and fixing it will require a $100 billion investment in improved food safety standards, warehousing, transportation and training,” the report says. While that may seem a hefty hunk of cash, the report also calculates that middle class spending on food in China will rise from the present $150 billion to $650 billion in a decade, enough to pay for a few extra inspectors. The report also says that 80 percent of the several thousand people interviewed by Kearney said they would be willing to pay extra for safe food, up from 57 percent in 2005. Makes you wonder what the other 20 percent are thinking? Nah, I’d rather feed my kids poison?

Another reader, incidentally, put up a link to photos of a crash test for the Brilliance that is frightening. There are lots of videos on youtube of crash tests of Chinese cars, including this one of an SUV being tested in Bavaria which is so disastrous that the crash test guys burst out laughing when they see the result. I’ll no doubt be thinking of it the next time am barreling down some pitch black road in deepest Qinghai or wherever at 80 miles an hour….