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Grocery Alert: Do NOT Buy Chinese Garlic

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As stated by a distinguished senator, failure to verify the origin of your garlic may result in an extremely unpleasant awakening.

Sen. Rick Scott, a Republican from Florida, cautioned in a letter to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo that garlic cultivated in China may have been nourished with human refuse and should be investigated.

Scott’s office issued a news release on December 6 stating that he was acting  “following reports that the garlic is being grown in human sewage, then bleached and harvested in abhorrent conditions often with slave labor.”

The senator expressed significant apprehensions in the letter regarding “imports from Communist China of all grades of garlic, whole or separated into constituent cloves, whether or not peeled, chilled, fresh, frozen, provisionally preserved or packed in water or other neutral substance, and the threat they pose to U.S. national security.”

Scott stated, “Food safety and security is an existential emergency that poses grave threats to our national security, public health, and economic prosperity.”

The United States has long been concerned about garlic imports from China, but primarily from a trade standpoint, according to the BBC.

Although the communist country is the largest exporter of garlic in the world, the United States has imposed tariffs on Chinese-grown garlic since the 1990s on the basis of allegations of “dumping.” Dumping refers to a trade strategy wherein a country or company floods the market with a product at a low price with the intention of harming competitors.

As an element of his stringent trade policies toward Beijing, these tariffs were increased during the administration of former President Donald Trump.

Nevertheless, Scott highlighted in his correspondence with Raimondo that “beyond these trade enforcement concerns, there is a severe public health concern over the quality and safety of garlic grown in foreign countries — most notably, garlic grown in Communist China.”

The senator wrote, “Communist China’s growth practices are well-documented in the public domain, from cooking blogs and home magazines to YouTube videos and documentaries.”

“These practices include such offenses as fertilizing garlic with human feces and forms of sewage, growing garlic in sewage, bleaching garlic to make it appear whiter and cleaner to the eye after its growth in unsanitary conditions, and stripping the root end from garlic before it enters U.S. markets as to make it appear more appealing and also to comply with U.S. laws regarding prevention of soil-borne diseases and contaminants,” he explained.

Indeed, the grave allegations have been documented by both individuals and journalistic organizations. Two such videos—one from food YouTuber Bobby Parrish exposing the bulbs’ cultivation in unhygienic conditions, and the other from the Financial Times detailing the incarcerated labor employed in their harvesting and peeling—illustrate the point:

“As garlic is a widely-used product for cooking and food preparation, the integrity and safety of this product are paramount to the entire population,” Scott said in his letter.

“To maintain a strong and stable economy, domestic tranquility, a productive society, public health and our national security, we must assure quality and confidence in our food supply to all Americans and their families,” he wrote. CONTINUE READING…

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