Many people know China for having several factories that produce fake products (bicupuli) that in most cases are imported into Uganda and sold at cheap prices. Many of the world products even those used in developed countries like the US and parts of Europe come from China including some food products.
An investigative report in China has revealed that some of the products which were being falsely labelled as popular brands include Nestlé, Knorr and Lee Kum Kee. This is worrying since Maggi (Nestle) sauce, chicken cubes by Knorr (Unilever) and Nestlé are also imported and widely used here in Uganda.
Over 50 Chinese factories in trouble for producing fake products such as sauce & chicken cubes
Beijing News reported that ring of more than 50 factories have been found to be manufacturing artificial sauces and flavourings, some with illegal ingredients, in the Chinese city of Tianjin.
More than about shs.52.6 billion (100 million yuan/$14.5 million) worth of fake products are produced each year in Duliu, the Tianjin town in which the con was uncovered.
The ingredients used for the fake food seasonings include tap water and industrial-grade salt, which is banned from human consumption in China because it can cause liver and kidney damage due to the presence of cancer-causing agents and heavy metals.
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The fake factories also bought spices and herbs that had already been used, such as star anise and pepper from nearby factories, then dried them and ground them into powder.
The operations are carried out in very bad and unclean conditions, such as operating inside filthy disgusting buildings which have surveillance cameras outside them to alert when strangers enter the premises. This has made it difficult for local police to crack them down since the goods are also moved immediately so as to avoid detection.
After years of successful evasion, the police raided the factories which surprisingly hired dozens of workers and arrested several people caught in the act. It also seized their materials and equipment.
Don’t forget that last year thousands of cans of fake infant formula were made in China, such as fake Similac milk powder that were seized by police in numerous raids some of which contained melamine poisoning.
There are many genuine products that come out of china but also be very wary that some dupes slip in as well and are very harmful to your health.
Lawk is a mozillian, writes for Spur, Newslibre and consults part time for Every1Mobile and Innovware.
He loves open source, the open web, writing, reading and developing literacy tools that can teach the youth around the world especially in East Africa.