Chinese diaspora hurtles UK towards Milkageddon

17 Apr

glass of milkIt’s rainy season again.

Not rainy like those insipid drizzly squalls we used to get back in Blighty – this stuff comes in full tilt, balls out, end-of-the world downpours. And it’s usually accompanied by the kind of thunderstorms you’ll rarely see outside of 70s horror films. The urge to sit staring out of the window with a cigarette in my mouth writing some terrible poetry is almost crippling.

Anyway, one potentially positive side-effect of these daily drenchings for young Hong Kong mothers is that it may put off the local milk powder smugglers from their despicable cross-border trade.

Yeah, public confidence in the safety of baby formula sold on the mainland is so low these days that a huge parallel trading industry has grown up whereby powder is bought up en masse in HK and sold for a profit across the border. It has become so bad that the LegCo last month slapped a restricted export license on the stuff, making it equitable to rough diamonds and high grade pharmaceuticals.

Get caught carrying more than the personal allowance of two cans without a license these days and you’re in for a potential fine of HK$500k (£40,000) or two years in the slammer.

I read with much mirth last week, that the UK is now suffering the same fate, with major retailers restricting restricting the sale of milk powder as Chinese tourists and students rush to send the stuff back home. Perhaps more to blame though are the wily entrepreneurs who are snapping the stuff up at source before it can be distributed to the retailers and shipping it out to China for a profit of up to double what they paid for it.

Reuters says that, apart from the public health concerns of milk powder made in the PRC, demand is also being fuelled by an increase in middle-class working mothers – wherever they are in China.

All of which encouraged me to ponder what the future holds.

In a country where dead pigs float, rather than fly, in their tens of thousands down rivers, and air pollution levels regularly oscillate between “extreme danger: stay indoors” and “it’s eaten through the doors! Fuuuuuuck!”  there’s unlikely to be an improvement in public confidence about food safety in the near term.

So unless China’s young Mums decide to go “back to basics” (cue Benny Hill music) with their baby feeding habits, are we headed for the Milk Wars?

I envisage a dystopic future post-Milk War III (MW3) in which the planet has effectively becomes a servile colony producing milk powder, high-powered sports cars, Burberry handbags and terrible hip hop for its economic masters in China. Maybe Ridley Scott to do a film to raise public awareness.

At least we can thank our stars China’s leaders have for the past 30-odd years in their infinite wisdom enforced a very fair and humanitarian one-child policy in the country. Can you imagine the rush on Cow & Gate if they hadn’t? It turns the blood cold.

Oh, it’s stopped raining…

2 Responses to “Chinese diaspora hurtles UK towards Milkageddon”

  1. Hubert April 17, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Where pigs float.. not fly… like it..


  1. Hold onto your donkeys, the Chinese are coming | Death Noodle - January 6, 2014

    […] also managed to take food scandals to a whole new level. We had gutter waste sold as cooking oil, infected baby formula, over 16,000 dead pigs floating down Shanghai’s Huangpu river and even seizures of fake honey […]

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