If you’ve been watching the news at all lately you already know that the Chinese government has sentenced to death those responsible for the milk contamination that caused the death of Chinese babies and sickened thousands more. And if you’ve been watching the U.S. news you know that the U.S. government just found out that the Georgia firm that sold salmonella tainted peanut butter did so knowingly 12 times in the past year.
There’s still debate about whether or not there’s even a criminal violation in the U.S. case, but in China the government vowed to prosecute from the beginning.
My dad used to talk about the difference between Western culture and Asian culture and he described it as the difference between right brain thinking and left brain thinking. For the Chinese there was no doubt that poisoning milk was a criminal act, for Americans it’s not so clear cut. My guess is in the U.S., the execs involved will get no more than a slap on the hand and possibly fired for their actions, and as someone else mentioned, we in the U.S. will forget all about this in a year.
That brings me to something my mom always used to say, Chinese memories are long, and the Chinese people don’t forget. That’s why they’re so careful to remember when you’ve given them a gift and always give a gift in return. This might explain the difference in response between the Chinese food scare and the American one.
So the question here is whether those who knowingly sell tainted food have committed a crime? And if you believe it is, does that make you Asian?