June 10, 2011

In China, censored report shows political elite get special access to organic food Although organic food from China has gotten a bad rap lately, apparently it's not too good for top party officials. A friend sent a link to this dispatch, which shows that top Chinese government officials have access to food from special organic farms, as well as farms tested for water quality and chemical residues. The report, from the paper Southern Weekend, was pulled from its web site by authorities shortly after it appeared and other Chinese media were ordered not to reprint it. Here's how the report from the paper Southern Weekend begins: Surrounded by two-metre high walls and watched over by five security guards, the “customs shed” would be a struggle to find without the help of local people. You would be even less likely to realise that it supplies vegetables for Beijing’s customs authorities. The site – full name Beijing Customs Vegetable Farm and Country Club – covers 200 mu of land (around 130,000 square metres) in the outlying Beijing district of Shunyi. According to an informed source, the farm has been working with the Beijing customs authority, its sole customer, for 10 years. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning, a customs truck comes to the farm to pick up a load of at least several thousand kilograms of produce. This is just one of many examples of food being produced specifically for government use. Southern Weekend understands that the customs authorities are not the only department to have a farm in Shunyi, and that some provincial level...

Sam Fromartz

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