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Lecture 11

EAS396H1 Lecture 11: EAS396 Lecture 11
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Department
East Asian Studies
Course
EAS396H1
Professor
Wen- Ching Sung
Semester
Winter

Description
EAS396 Lecture 11 Food Safety in China Key Terms “Risk Society” by Ulrich Beck “Differential mode of association” by Xiaotong Fei Food Sovereignty Social distrust Counter-hegemony Yunxiang Yan • Anthropologist at UCLA • manufactured foods risk are difficult to calculate and control • the biggest risk is social distrust in Chinese societies • He cares about morality in Chinese societies • Historical review of food safety in China o Stage 1 (1950-1982) ▪ main problem is public canteen problems 49 out of 139 cases ▪ poor sanitation, unsafe storage of leftovers, lack of hygiene regulations, improper cooking methods ▪ staff made no effort to cheat the customers ▪ food-poisoning cases caused by pesticides or harmful chemicals began to occur in 1970s ▪ 1982 Food Hygiene Law o Stage 2 (1932 – 2002) ▪ Poisonous food • Poisonous Food o Food adulteration: cooking oil o Food additives: antibiotics, colorants, hormones o Pesticides used as food preservatives o Fake foods: fake milk powder, fake medicine, fake egg, fake soy sauce etc. • Possible Causes o Government regulations and industry ▪ 500,000 large-scale food processing companies ▪ 350,000 small and medium-sized enterprises ▪ over 20 million private owned business in the food retail line ▪ Source: Xinhua, 2008 ▪ profit-driven manufacturers ▪ inefficient inspection systems ▪ loopholes in food legislation and labeling laws • no organic food, but there is Greenfood label • Greenfood equals to our regular food in Canada • political leaders can access to those organic foods o Cultural explanation: differential mode of association ▪ also provides a rationale why they put additives ▪ concept to promote differential mode is by Fei Xiaotong • studied under Malinowski • trained in the UK ▪ Distinctiveness of Chinese society ▪ How does China differ from the West? • a common dichotomy: individualism (Westerners) vs. collectivism (Chinese) • Fei Xiaotong said Chinese is egocentrism • He means that in the social network of Chinese society, it suggests that for farmers, they have a miss conduct and apply different morality in different social realm • For westerners he suggests that each individual in that society has the same right, responsibility and privilege th • theory that developed in early 20 century o Role of S&T: risk society ▪ The pesticides and chemicals can save time ▪ more chemical stuff in the food and they have to develop an efficient way to detect the chemicals in the foods ▪ China has GMO rights ▪ Chemicals also happens in medicine as well ▪ science is intertwined with industries ▪ the conflict of interest with who they speak to • Ulrich Beck: Risk Society o Examples of risks caused by science and technology ▪ Nuclear plant explosion – we don’t have control of S&T ▪ Bhopal chemical explosion ▪ global warming and environmental pollution ▪ poisonous food • Reflexive Modernization o Modern time we enjoy the advance of S&T and we don’t worry about the food supply
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