In China, where guns really are outlawed, and where fraud is the national pastime1, the New York Times’s Dan Levine and Crystal Tse note a national fraud scandal that has legs… and wings, and ribs, and briskets. Really old ones. Levine & Tse (alternative Google search if you’re paywalled out):
From rat meat masquerading as lamb to tainted milk to exploding watermelons, Chinese consumers have become inured to stomach-churning food scandals. But on Tuesday, countless people were forced to ponder the benefits of vegetarianism after news reports emerged that unscrupulous meat traders had been peddling tons of beef, pork and chicken wings that in some cases had been frozen for 40 years.
The Chinese news media announced that the authorities had seized nearly half a billion dollars’ worth of smuggled frozen meat this month across China, some of it dating to the 1970s. The caches of beef, pork and chicken wings, worth up to 3 billion renminbi, or $483 million, were discovered in a nationwide crackdown that spanned 14 provinces and regions, the state news agency Xinhua reported.
Well, at least it wasn’t dog. In this case2.
The article delivers punch after punch, interspersed with punchline after punchline, some of them very sly (emphasis ours):
[T]he news of 40-year-old frozen meat being sold to consumers has left even the most seasoned experts in shock.
As annoying as the Times is 99% of the time, this is the 1% that shows they have talented people who could do actual journalism, if only it was a newsroom value. Do go Read The Whole Thing™.
It’s a pity the Chinese didn’t get along better with the Japanese, because they could stand to learn a lot about just-in-time logistics and lean inventory. If your meat supply is backed up a couple of generations (of people, not chickens!), you’re doing it wrong.
- There’s an old SF saying which has to be an old Chinese proverb: “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’. If you get caught, you’re tryin’ too hard.” Of course, in China, if you get caught in a big fraud case, you have a date with a 7.62 x 39 to the back of the neck, not a stint in Club Fed made easy by your millions. Advantage, China.
- When someone offers you a “chow puppy,” note that that is a very different thing than a Chow puppy!