Now claimed to be a hoax, the video showing a siopao maker in China stuffing cardboard into the buns was said to be manufactured (no bun, er, pun intended) by the video’s producer. The reporter/producer is now being held by the Beijing police as the case is ongoing investigation. A report in the China Daily says that investigations by the police have revealed that the reporter, known only by his surname Zi, “fabricated the report to garner higher audience ratings.”

With all the flak China has been receiving for its lack of food safety measures, we don’t really know if this is just a case of its government doing damage control.

But hoax or no hoax, China vows to improve food safety in wake of health scares.

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This was the original post about this news story:

Talk about food extenders.

Yesterday’s evening news featured how a local Chinese reporter, using a hidden camera, caught on video how a siopao maker in China was using cardboard as filling. The camera showed how the cardboard, sourced from neighbors, was first soaked in caustic soda to soften it to a pulp. This pulp was then chopped into smaller pieces. Fatty pork and powdered seasoning would then be added to complete the mix. The ratio according to the anonymous siopao maker was six to four. Or sixty percent cardboard and forty percent pork or something resembling pork maybe (in China these days, you never know).

After the buns were done, the reporter took a bite and said it tasted, er, cardboardy. The siopao maker then told the reporter that the average person couldn’t tell the difference. I wonder if that meant that most food in that area tasted like cardboard anyway, the same way that most meat tastes like chicken. After a while the man admitted that he wouldn’t eat them himself. Now that’s smart thinking, but not very good advertising.

What the evening news didn’t mention though, was that the police later arrived to shut down the operation.

Their offense might have been: illegal recycling.

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This story can be read here.

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The Chinese government, to show that it is seriously trying to improve its quality controls has recently executed the former head of their State Food and Drug Administration who was found guilty of accepting bribes and dereliction of duty.

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Inquirer’s Mike Tan in a previous column discusses the recent exposés and scandals involving imports from China and how we should be wary, given our own weak regulatory environment, of imported goods now flooding our local market.

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