Sensational food production issues in Israel are covered by Green Prophet. These issues have included exposure of cruelty in the meat industry; frozen fish from China that are pumped with water and Chemicals, and meat being fed with feces and pumped with toxic contaminants.
It now appears that the Chinese are not only adding chemicals to food products being sold in Israel.
The controlling interest in the country’s largest food producing company, Tnuva, has just been bought by China’s Bright Food Consortium. The Chinese company has agreed to purchase 56 percent of dairy firm Tnuva from the
private equity house Apax. The Chinese food giant will now have control of an Israeli food company that has been an iconic household word since even before the founding of the state in 1948.
Former Mossad head, Ephraim HaLevy, voiced his reservations of the sale to a local newspaper YNet, saying: “the company buying Tnuva is owned by the Chinese government. This is not a company owned by a private Chinese businessman. This allows the Chinese government to do make immediate decisions as it sees fit.”
How this Chinese acquisition may affect Israel’s largest dairy and food producer still remains to be seen. It could result in a virtual flooding of the Israel food market by Chinese food products, some of which are of dubious quality.
This brings to mind the case of the previously mentioned frozen fish products that are “pumped with water and chemicals” to make the fish appear fresher and of better quality. Everyone knows that China’s lax laws create products that smart consumers will not want to eat. Or perhaps they will export Israel’s high quality milk products to a growing appetite for such things in China. Either way when a foreign entity has control over a local food source we think that it cannot be good for local consumers.
Consider just local issues like this: Tnuva’s Adom Adom slaughterhouse in Beit Shean (photo) is still under scrutiny following adverse publicity it received for excessive animal cruelty following the Kolboteck TV exposure.
A large food producing icon company like Tnuva has a responsibility to the public it sells its products too. This should be even more important than the profit motives on behalf of company directors. But we guess this is why Israeli activists were protesting the issues of food and housing in the summer of 2011.
Some commenters like David Rosenberg on Haaretz says that the public unwelcome of the Chinese buy out smacks of racism. They point out:
“But then again, the peanut-flavored snack Bamba is just as Israeli, and its maker, Osem, has been controlled by Switzerland’s Nestle since 2000. Telma Corn Flakes and Blue-Band margarine have been made by the Anglo-Dutch firm Unilever since it bought their Israeli manufacturer, also in 2000.”
We wonder how activists will respond to Tnuva products now.
Read more about Israel’s food issues:
Israel’s Cruel Meat Industry Exposed by Watchdog TV Show
Israeli Meat Fed With Feces and Pumped With Toxic Contaminants
Israel’s Frozen Fish Processed in China and Pumped With Water and Chemicals
Photo of Tnuva’s Adom Adom meat packing house by Yaron Kaminsky/Haaretz