On Poison, Ants, and Pistachios


After the recent storm in the U.S. media about contaminated Chinese imports of pet food and toothpaste, the Chinese appear to be hitting back. Last week inspectors in two Chinese ports refused to admit shipments of health supplements and raisins from the United States on the grounds that they were tainted with bacteria and sulfur dioxide. This week the official English-language newspaper, the China Daily, reports the seizing by customs officials of a batch of American pistachio nuts that were "rancid and infested with white ants." The paper said the pistachios could have harmed people's health, and the ants might have damaged "buildings, houses, trees, and cables." A coincidence, or a bit of pistachio diplomacy?

Subscribe to Gourmet