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Beijing Review Calls Wu ‘Food Safety Warrior’

A 27-year-old post-graduate student at Fudan University in Shanghai was hailed as a “Food Safety Warrior“ in the June 4 edition of the Beijing Review, China’s national English news weekly.

The newspaper recognized Wu Heng, a historical geography student, for the online database he has created listing problematic foods.

According to the story, the information sharing website has “gone viral,” reaching more than 400,000 hits per day, up from the 10,000 it recorded at it’s inception.

“The website contains a 10 million character-long paper authored by Wu on China’s food safety situation and a map of China with regions in different colors to indicate food safety hazard levels between 2004 and 2011,” the story says. The title of the paper is “Exchanging Feces to Eat: Food Safety Situation of China (2004-11).”

According to Wu, “exchanging feces to eat,” indicates that everybody living in a corrupt food supply chain, including suppliers of problematic food themselves, would become the victim of someone else’s wrongdoing.”

The Beijing Review also reports that “after a major scandal related to the use of waste leather scraps to produce the gelatin used for drug capsules was exposed by the media in early April, Wu wrote on his website that the paper he wrote one year ago was still relevant since there had been almost no improvement in systematic monitoring.”

Wu has tried to raise awareness about a harmful additive that makes pork taste and appear like beef. His website, written in Chinese, can be found here.

Being a food safety warrior is not without risk in China. Zhao Lianhai, parent of a child who suffered kidney damage from drinking contaminated powdered milk in 2008 and himself a food safety official, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for “inciting an incident.”

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