From a few years ago but still true today.
Chinese Vitamins - You Can’t Escape Them!
by Walter Pittman
So now its Chinese ginger poisoning the world, along with Chinese toothpaste, Chinese farmed fish, Chinese pet food, Chinese pickled vegetables, Chinese honey and Chinese toys tainted with lead. The ginger is contaminated with aldicarb sulfoxide, a dangerous pesticide banned in America. Chinese toothpaste is contaminated with diethylene glycol, farmed fish and pet food with melamine, and pickled vegetables with DDVP, another dangerous pesticide.
Chinese contamination of our food supply. Is it a Chinese government plot to undermine the health of Americans? Maybe, but I doubt it. Rather, I think it is probably the result of the greed of individual Chinese insufficiently regulated by conscience and by the Chinese government. The Chinese government might not even approve of it, because it’s bad for business. But that isn’t necessarily cause for relief. Whatever the cause, a lot of tainted products are coming out of China, and you can’t avoid them.
Being a health-conscious consumer, you’ve recently started reading labels more carefully and you’ve gone through your kitchen and ruthlessly thrown away every food item from China into the garbage, and you’ve stricken them off your shopping list. Or have you?
You can’t, unless you eat a strict, non-processed, organic whole foods diet that excludes everything from China. You literally can’t.
How is this so?
It’s because the federal government mandates the “fortification” of flour with vitamins and minerals, and because many (probably most) of those vitamins and minerals are now manufactured in China. And so, as usual, the federal government is a part of the problem rather than the solution. In taking charge of your health you are on your own.
And besides vitamins, many other food additives are also made in China. Much of the artificial flavoring, vanillin, found in many baked products, is made in factories in Zhejiang Province, China, from the petrochemical benzene. Much of our artificial butter flavoring, diacetyl, is likewise made in China, from the petrochemical “natural gas.” Much of our sorbic acid, a preservative also made from “natural gas,” is made in China. Much of our artificial colorings come from the oil refineries of the Yellow River Delta of China. Much of our aspartame, too, comes from China.
If you are concerned with you eat, you will in any case try to avoid vanillin, diacetyl, sorbic acid, artificial coloring, aspartame, and other chemicals that don’t belong in our food. You can do it; I’ve done it for years. But you have to be very careful indeed to avoid the mother of all contaminants—artificial vitamins.
This is because it is very hard to completely avoid white flour, which the federal government requires to be contaminated with vitamins and with iron. Of course, white flour is stripped of many of the nutrients in the whole grain kernal, and we shouldn’t eat as much of it as we do, but it’s pretty damned hard stuff to avoid. We’re talking about bread, pasta, pizza, hamburgers, pies, cakes, etc.—the average American eats almost 190 pounds a year of flour, and almost all of that is white flour “fortified” with vitamins. And most of those vitamins were probably made in China.
Even many whole grains, which are not required by law to be “fortified” with artificial vitamins, are nonetheless contaminated with them. I’m talking about whole grain breakfast cereals, which the big manufacturers usually spray with artificial vitamins as a supposed benefit. I won’t name names, but check the labels. Luckily, there are a few uncontaminated brands.
And vitamin pills? I used to take them by the handful, but not anymore. I’m going clean. I don’t want to be the next victim of bad Chinese quality control.
Vitamin C is almost all made in China now. DSM, a European (Dutch) maker, still makes vitamin C in Europe (Ireland), and recently began to brand its product “Quali-C.” This was a smart move by DSM, given the current revelations about Chinese quality control. Vitamin C is made synthetically from glucose, by either fermentation or by chemical manipulation. If you want to take large doses of vitamin C, you have to go synthetic; otherwise, get your vitamin C from foods. Vitamin C added to drinks, cereals, vitamins, etc., is of course synthetic. I will no longer take synthetic C until I can find a source of Quali-C.
Reduced iron comes mostly from China and India. Chinese iron could be contaminated with almost anything, and we have no way of knowing who, if anyone, checks it for contaminants.
Thiamine (B1) is made in China, from petrochemicals. Riboflavin (B2) is made in China from fermentation of microorganisms in stews of various food products such as waste oils and other (no doubt waste) food products. The world’s largest B2 maker is located on the Yangtze River in China. Folic acid, which we push upon pregnant women too stupid to eat whole grains and greens, is made in Changzhou, China, from fermentation as well as from petrochemicals.
Why are all these vitamins made in China? Because Chinese companies can make them more cheaply than can companies from other countries, and because cost is always the bottom line, even when it comes to our health. The consumer is too cheap and too ill-informed to demand high quality vitamins, flour mills are too worried about making an extra buck to worry about our health, and the government doesn’t give a damn. And so most of our vitamins are now made in China, and the United States government requires that these vitamins be put into white flour. And white flour is everywhere.
But is there really any potential for harm to come from Chinese vitamins? Well, that’s the real question. And the answer is this: we won’t know for certain until a bad batch of vitamins makes its way into our vitamin pills or—God help us—into a batch of flour. Remember the tryptophan supplement scare of 1990? Tryptophan is an amino acid that was used in supplement form by thousands of people in the United States and elsewhere, for various reasons. In 1990 a Japanese manufacturer fermented up a bad batch of tryptophan causing a blood disease that sickened thousands of supplement users and killed 30.
In 1998, another bad batch of tryptophan was discovered. Tryptophan is an amino acid rather than a vitamin, but I doubt that distinction is of much practical importance. Lucky for us, the federal government doesn’t mandate the fortification of white flour with tryptophan.
Do you want to take a chance on Chinese vitamins? I know I don’t. But like the fluoride dumped into our water supplies, the artificial vitamins dumped into our flour supplies are very, very hard to avoid.
Maybe it’s time for the government to quit mandating that supplemental vitamins and minerals be put into our food and water supplies. Maybe it should be our personal choice whether to take or not take Chinese vitamins with our roast beef sandwiches and our carrot cakes. Or, if public health concerns must override individual rights, then why not do it the natural way, and simply require that baked products contain a certain percentage of whole grain flour? This would have occurred in Third Reich Germany, had World War II not intervened (but then, that was a government that actually cared about the health of its citizens). Proletarian tastes would have to adapt, but in my view it’s a lot easier to swallow a piece of 50% whole grain bread than to swallow a piece of white bread dusted with Chinese vitamins made from petrochemicals and fermented waste oil.
What do you think?
Sources: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=56923; http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=56603; http://edition.cnn.com/HEALTH/9808/31/tryptophan/; http://www.quali-c.com/; http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=56372; Ettlinger, Steve, “Twinkie, Deconstructed,” Hudson Street Press, 2007; Proctor, Robert N., “The Nazi War on Cancer,” Princeton University Press, 1999.