Sunday, March 17, 2013

Food security and dead pigs (II) - China Weekly Hangout

Since our first announcement of this week's +China Weekly Hangout on food security in China, triggered off by thousands of dead pigs floating in the Huangpu River in Shanghai,  not only more pigs turned up. The number is now already over 12,500, and in their slipstream the first factlets about their origin turned up in the media.
Those facts are still far from clear, but I believe most attention went to the wrong subject: potential water pollution. The real story is food security, I firmly believe.

An interesting detail from a recent AP story:
Villagers have told state media that pig dumping is on the rise following police campaigns against the illicit trade of pork products harvested from diseased pigs that were illegally sold, instead of properly disposed of.
So there is actually a huge positive angle on this pig story: those pigs ended up in the Huangpu River and not on your plate. That is very good news, although everybody is still waiting for more details. Who is familiar with the Huangpu River (and Suzhou Creek for that matter), knows that those rivers have seen much worst pollution in the past than a few thousand dead animals.
On Thursday 21 March our sustainability expert +Richard Brubaker is joining us, and we hope to discuss the food security side of this issue more thoroughly. Who is actually in charge of food security? How is this melange of government agencies fighting each other? Can we expect action from the new government? What can ordinary consumers do to protect themselves. Richard recently visited Shanghai's slaughterhouses, and has during earlier hangouts been food security as an issue more than once.
Just a few questions to discuss on the China Weekly Hangout, Thursday 21 March, 10pm Beijing Time, 3pm CET (Europe) and 9am EST (US/Canada). You can watch the video here at this space, or at our event page, where you can register for participation. Moderation by +Fons Tuinstra , president of the +China Speakers Bureau .
During the event you can field questions and remarks at Twitter and Google+ (Do add our hash tag #CWHCWH).

How does the pollution affect you, was another question +Richard Brubaker and +Fons Tuinstra discussed earlier in January. A full overview of all +China Weekly Hangout 's you can find at our YouTube channel.


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