I should've known better, given the never-ending stream of news reports of how the Chinese subtly adulterate stuff that they sell to us, in order to keep their costs lower than other countries and fool us gullible Americans who are looking to save a little bit on price. Medicine, drywall, food, it doesn't matter.
Tonight I got a sub-clinical case of neurotoxic shellfish poisoning from eating smoked oysters and smoked mussels that both listed China as the country of origin. Well, at least I hope it's only sub-clinical -- if you don't see any new posts here for a week, it's been fun. And I want my blog to be buried, not cremated like some godless heathen.
I've bought smoked oysters several times in the past week, but I recall them coming from South Korea, and choosing those over the other brands specifically because I didn't want to eat anything that ever went near China. These ones tonight cost nearly half as much, and they were from name brands Napoleon and Crown Prince, so I figured why not try it out.
Famous last words, eh?
Within 10 minutes of digging in, my head felt different, although at first it was more of a buzzed feeling than anything unfamiliar. Then I got so fatigued I had to take an hour nap at like 9pm -- not normal. When I got up, I felt mildly nauseous, though luckily without any intestinal discomfort. I couldn't walk with a normal stride and could only step in shorter shuffles. Couldn't coordinate my arms like normal either. When I spoke, it seemed like every other sentence was marked by a Spoonerism -- like to describe how my head felt, "it's not a starp and shabbing pain..." A couple "p"s turned into "f"s, and "sh"s into "s"s. And speech was awkward and halting. The whole time I felt short of breath, and my eyes were sensitive to light.
I'm better now several hours later, though the headache is lingering.
Will this episode show up in official statistics? Nope, it wasn't bad enough that I needed to see a doctor. Will I write in to the company whose product I bought, or notify the supermarket retailer that had them on the shelves? Nope, not like they'd do anything without a note from the doctor, so to speak.
And so, the cheap Chinese suppliers who defraud and harm American consumers will get off the hook again. It's only when they really botch the job, like loading up their infant formula with junk to increase the protein content, or do likewise to the pet food they sell us, that a scandal erupts.
But as this case tonight shows, those are only the more-extreme events, with less-extreme ones striking us every time we consume cheap junk from China. By now they must be close to mastering the fine art of optimal adulteration of goods. Cram too much junk in it, or leave too much good stuff out, and the symptoms will be loud and clear, and the jig will be up.
But if you don't scam the consumer at all, why, that's perfectly good profit you're throwing away by using unnecessarily high-quality stuff, unnecessarily cleaning the product of potential pollutants. Adulterate the product just enough to save on costs and enjoy a higher profit than your competitors, and so that the harmful effects will be mild enough to go unreported by the suckers who buy the stuff.
If they no complain, they not really sick anyway! Only trying to get back money for acceptable product! Nothing perfect in this world -- so buyer beware! Not our fault if consumer is typical lazy American, and not check safety of the food we sell them!
Boycott all this flimflam bullshit coming out of amoral China. Not only do they deserve it, you'll be healthier for it too.