on a classic pair
Amid reports of adulterated medication and other product safety issues, China has a long way to
go to regain trust of its products in the world market. A fellow food and
beverage editor I know won’t even eat or drink packaged products that
have a “product of China” tag.
As a symbol that China is taking its food safety
situation seriously, this month, the country executed its former head of
State Food and Drug Administration, who served
from 1997 to 2006. Zheng Xiaoyu was sentenced to death for approving at
least six untested medicines that were fake in exchange for cash, according
to Chinese government media reports. One of these false medicines is blamed
for the deaths of at least 10 people.
Xiaoyu’s execution was uncommonly harsh, even
for China, which is believed to perform more court-ordered executions than
all other countries combined. Media reports indicate this is an example of
the government’s firmness in confronting its product safety record.
At a news conference to highlight Chinese efforts to
improve food and drug safety, the government assured attendees of the 2008
Beijing Summer Games to expect safe meals. Chinese authorities also
promised to investigate a Beijing Times report that more than half of the water coolers in Beijing
used counterfeit branded water, and noted that a May inspection of
Beijing’s drinking water products found more than 96 percent were
Chinese officials have been working to tighten safety
controls and close factories where illegal chemicals or other problems were
found, but do acknowledge that the supervision of food and drug safety
remains unsatisfactory and that the government has been slow to tackle the
The government’s fallback: China is a developing
country. It feels it has had a late start and deserves time to work on its
problem. In today’s global economy, the question is whether the world
has time to wait.
Instead of a slice of pizza and a beer, a home
brewer incorporated the taste of pizza into a beer. Tomatoes, garlic,
basil and oregano are all part of what Tom
Seefurth dubs Mamma Mia Pizza Beer, the Chicago
Tribune reported. The reddish-brown ale was
created this spring in Seefurth’s garage brewery with help from Mike
Rybinski, brewmaster at Walter Payton’s Roundhouse restaurant in
Aurora, Ill. The final product was made with two kegs of canned tomatoes,
450 cloves of garlic and two pizzas — without cheese and oils —
which were strained out of the final batch.
Fuel for dancing
Coffee enhancement STOK provides an additional 40-mg.
caffeine boost when added to coffee and now fuels dancers. The brand has
partnered with Norwegian pop group Datarock for the STOK Challenge, a
national online dance-off competition. On the Web site GetStoked.com,
consumers are able to enter a film of themselves and a partner getting down
to the group’s track “Fa-Fa-Fa.” The top entries will be
ranked and posted and the winner will receive a cash prize.
The Food Network’s “Unwrapped” goes
behind the scenes to explain the stories and
manufacturing of America’s favorite foods. The show recently featured
Java Juice liquid coffee essence. Java Juice, which has been popular in the
outdoor industry, was “Unwrapped” as part of the show’s
“On the Go” episode. The product is made with organic coffee
beans and can be used to create a cup of coffee while camping as well as in
recipes that include coffee, the company says.
Energy for fighting
Power Trip Beverages Inc. has joined forces with the
International Fighting League’s John Gunderson. The energy drink
company sponsored the fighter at his most recent victory held at the Las
Vegas Hilton. Gunderson will wear the energy
drink’s logo during events, and he says he drinks the products to
fuel his workouts. Hard rock, cool
Budweiser and Bud Light have released special-edition,
collectible aluminum bottles for the summer’s 2007 Ambassadors of
Rock Tour. The tour brings together Hard Rock Cafes, Hard Rock Live venues,
as well as Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos around the world. The 16-ounce
aluminum red Budweiser and blue Bud Light bottles feature the Hard
Rock’s Ambassadors of Rock logo. The bottles will be available at
concerts all over the world, and were featured at last month’s
two-day Hyde Park Calling event in London, headlined by Aerosmith, Peter
Gabriel and Crowded House.
To mark the national launch of sports drink
Accelerade, Cadbury Schweppes placed a treadmill in Times Square for a
24-hour endurance run. On June 21, runner Dean Karnazes ran on a treadmill
on a platform attached to the Reuters building in New York City for 24
hours. Karnazes raised $21,000 for the Athletes for a Cure charity. The
brand featured a billboard, mile tracker and clock to track Karnazes’
progress. The run was also broadcast on accelerade.com.