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China flooding the U.S. with foods unfit for human consumption (Washington Post)



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 20th 07, 05:40 PM posted to soc.culture.china,talk.politics.misc,rec.pets.dogs.health,soc.retirement,soc.veterans
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default China flooding the U.S. with foods unfit for human consumption (Washington Post)

Tainted Chinese Imports Common
In Four Months, FDA Refused 298 Shipments
By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 20, 2007; A01

Dried apples preserved with a cancer-causing chemical.

Frozen catfish laden with banned antibiotics.

Scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria.

Mushrooms laced with illegal pesticides.

These were among the 107 food imports from China that the Food and
Drug Administration detained at U.S. ports just last month, agency
documents reveal, along with more than 1,000 shipments of tainted
Chinese dietary supplements, toxic Chinese cosmetics and counterfeit
Chinese medicines.

For years, U.S. inspection records show, China has flooded the United
States with foods unfit for human consumption. And for years, FDA
inspectors have simply returned to Chinese importers the small portion
of those products they caught -- many of which turned up at U.S.
borders again, making a second or third attempt at entry.

Now the confluence of two events -- the highly publicized
contamination of U.S. chicken, pork and fish with tainted Chinese pet
food ingredients and this week's resumption of high-level economic and
trade talks with China -- has activists and members of Congress
demanding that the United States tell China it is fed up.

Dead pets and melamine-tainted food notwithstanding, change will prove
difficult, policy experts say, in large part because U.S. companies
have become so dependent on the Chinese economy that tighter rules on
imports stand to harm the U.S. economy, too.

"So many U.S. companies are directly or indirectly involved in China
now, the commercial interest of the United States these days has
become to allow imports to come in as quickly and smoothly as
possible," said Robert B. Cassidy, a former assistant U.S. trade
representative for China and now director of international trade and
services for Kelley Drye Collier Shannon, a Washington law firm.

As a result, the United States finds itself "kowtowing to China,"
Cassidy said, even as that country keeps sending American consumers
adulterated and mislabeled foods.

It's not just about cheap imports, added Carol Tucker Foreman, a
former assistant secretary of agriculture now at the Consumer
Federation of America.

"Our farmers and food processors have drooled for years to be able to
sell their food to that massive market," Foreman said. "The Chinese
counterfeit. They have a serious piracy problem. But we put up with it
because we want to sell to them."

U.S. agricultural exports to China have grown to more than $5 billion
a year-- a fraction of last year's $232 billion U.S. trade deficit
with China but a number that has enormous growth potential, given the
Chinese economy's 10 percent growth rate and its billion-plus
consumers.

Trading with the largely unregulated Chinese marketplace has its
risks, of course, as evidenced by the many lawsuits that U.S. pet food
companies now face from angry consumers who say their pets were
poisoned by tainted Chinese ingredients. Until recently, however, many
companies and even the federal government reckoned that, on average,
those risks were worth taking. And for some products they have had
little choice, as China has driven competitors out of business with
its rock-bottom prices.

But after the pet food scandal, some are recalculating.

"This isn't the first time we've had an incident from a Chinese
supplier," said Pat Verduin, a senior vice president at the Grocery
Manufacturers Association, a trade group in Washington. "Food safety
is integral to brands and to companies. This is not an issue the
industry is taking lightly."

New Focus on the Problem

China's less-than-stellar behavior as a food exporter is revealed in
stomach-turning detail in FDA "refusal reports" filed by U.S.
inspectors: Juices and fruits rejected as "filthy." Prunes tinted with
chemical dyes not approved for human consumption. Frozen breaded
shrimp preserved with nitrofuran, an antibacterial that can cause
cancer. Swordfish rejected as "poisonous."

In the first four months of 2007, FDA inspectors -- who are able to
check out less than 1 percent of regulated imports -- refused 298 food
shipments from China. By contrast, 56 shipments from Canada were
rejected, even though Canada exports about $10 billion in FDA-
regulated food and agricultural products to the United States --
compared to about $2 billion from China.

Although China is subject to more inspections because of its poor
record, those figures mean that the rejection rate for foods imported
from China, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, is more than 25 times that
for Canada.

Miao Changxia, of the Chinese Embassy in Washington, said China
"attaches great importance" to the pet food debacle. "Investigations
were immediately carried out . . . and a host of emergency measures
have been taken to ensure the hygiene and safety of exported plant-
origin protein products," she said in an e-mail.

But deception by Chinese exporters is not limited to plant products,
and some of their most egregiously unfit exports are smuggled into the
United States.

Under Agriculture Department rules, countries cannot export meat and
poultry products to the United States unless the USDA certifies that
the slaughterhouses and processing plants have food-safety systems
equivalent to those here. Much to its frustration, China is not
certified to sell any meat to the United States because it has not met
that requirement.

But that has not stopped Chinese meat exporters. In the past year,
USDA teams have seized hundreds of thousands of pounds of prohibited
poultry products from China and other Asian countries, Agriculture
Secretary Mike Johanns announced in March. Some were shipped in crates
labeled "dried lily flower," "prune slices" and "vegetables,"
according to news reports. It is unclear how much of the illegal meat
slipped in undetected.

Despite those violations, the Chinese government is on track to get
permission to legally export its chickens to the United States -- a
prospect that has raised concern not only because of fears of bacteria
such as salmonella but also because Chinese chickens, if not properly
processed, could be a source of avian flu, which public-health
authorities fear may be poised to trigger a human pandemic.

Last year, under high-level pressure from China, the USDA passed a
rule allowing China to export to the United States chickens that were
grown and slaughtered in North America and then processed in China --
a rule that quickly passed through multiple levels of review and was
approved the day before Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in
Washington last April.

Now the rule that China really wants, allowing it to export its own
birds to the United States, is in the works, said Richard Raymond,
USDA's undersecretary for food safety. Reports in China have
repeatedly hinted that only if China gets its way on chicken exports
to the United States will Beijing lift its four-year-old ban on
importing U.S. beef. Raymond denies any link.

"It's not being facilitated or accelerated through the system at all,"
Raymond said of the chicken rule, adding that permission for China to
sell poultry to the United States is moving ahead because recent USDA
audits found China's poultry slaughterhouses to be equivalent to those
here.

Tony Corbo, a lobbyist for Food and Water Watch, a Washington advocacy
group, said that finding -- which is not subject to outside review --
is unbelievable, given repeated findings of unsanitary conditions at
China's chicken slaughterhouses. Corbo said he has seen some of those
audits. "Everyone who has seen them was grossed out," he said.

An Official Response

The Cabinet-level "strategic economic dialogue" with China, which
began in September and is scheduled to resume on Wednesday, was
described early on as a chance for the United States and China to
break a long-standing stalemate on trade issues. When it comes to the
safety of imported foods, though, they may highlight the limited
leverage that the United States has.

It is not just that food from China is cheap, said William Hubbard, a
former associate director of the FDA. For a growing number of
important food products, China has become virtually the only source in
the world.

China controls 80 percent of the world's production of ascorbic acid,
for example, a valuable preservative that is ubiquitous in processed
and other foods. Only one producer remains in the United States,
Hubbard said.

"That's true of a lot of ingredients," he said, including the wheat
gluten that was initially thought to be the cause of the pet deaths.
Virtually none of it is made in the United States, because the Chinese
sell it for less than it would cost U.S. manufacturers to make it.

So pervasive is the U.S. hunger for cheap imports, experts said, that
the executive branch itself has repeatedly rebuffed proposals by
agency scientists to impose even modest new safety rules for foreign
foods.

"Sometimes guidances can get through, but not regulations," said
Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director at the Center for Science
in the Public Interest, an advocacy group. Guidances, which the FDA
defines as "current thinking on a particular subject," are not
binding.

Under the Bush administration in particular, DeWaal said, if a
proposed regulation does get past agency or department heads, it hits
the wall at the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Andrea Wuebker, an OMB spokeswoman, said that the office reviewed 600
proposed rules last year and that it is up to agencies to finalize
rules after they are reviewed. She did not tally how many reviews sent
agencies' rule-writers back to the drawing board. She noted that some
food safety rules have been finalized, including some related to mad
cow disease and bioterrorism. Critics point out that the bioterrorism-
related regulations were required by an act of Congress.

John C. Bailar III, a University of Chicago professor emeritus who
chaired a 2003 National Academies committee that recommended major
changes in the U.S. food safety system -- which have gone largely
unheeded -- said he has become increasingly concerned that
corporations and the federal government seem willing to put the
interests of business "above the public welfare."

"This nation has -- and has had for decades -- a pressing need for a
wholly dedicated food safety agency, one that is independent and not
concerned with other matters . . . to bring together and extend the
bits of food safety activities now scattered over more than a dozen
agencies," he said in an e-mail.

Legislation to create such an agency was recently introduced, though
many suspect that is too big a challenge politically.

But in the aftermath of the recent food scandals, a growing number of
companies and trade groups, including Grocery Manufacturers of
America, are speaking in favor of at least a little more protection,
starting with a doubling of the FDA's food safety budget.

China is talking tough, too. "Violations of the rules on the use and
addition of chemicals or other banned substances will be dealt with
severely," said Miao, of the Chinese Embassy.

It is a threat some doubt will be enforced with great vigor, but
nonetheless it reveals that China recognizes that the latest scandal
has shortened Americans' fuses.

  #2  
Old May 20th 07, 07:37 PM posted to soc.culture.china,talk.politics.misc,rec.pets.dogs.health,soc.retirement,soc.veterans
Eggs Ackley
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default China flooding the U.S. with foods unfit for human consumption (Washington Post)

Another good example of America getting exactly what it deserves for
being China's cheap whore.

  #4  
Old May 20th 07, 07:57 PM posted to soc.culture.china,talk.politics.misc,rec.pets.dogs.health,soc.retirement,soc.veterans
Bill Bonde ( 'Hi ho' )
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2
Default China flooding the U.S. with foods unfit for human consumption(Washington Post)



Eggs Ackley wrote:

Another good example of America getting exactly what it deserves for
being China's cheap whore.

If America exported some bad beef to China, you'd be attacking America
as evil for doing that.


--
"There are some gals who don't like to be pushed and grabbed and lassoed
and drug into buses in the middle of the night."
"How else was I gonna get her on the bus? Well, I'm askin' ya.",
George Axelrod, "Bus Stop"
  #5  
Old May 20th 07, 09:14 PM posted to soc.culture.china,talk.politics.misc,rec.pets.dogs.health,soc.retirement,soc.veterans
mg
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default China flooding the U.S. with foods unfit for human consumption (Washington Post)

I wonder if George Bush eats this stuff or if he has his own food
taster?
: : :


On May 20, 10:40 am, wrote:
Tainted Chinese Imports Common
In Four Months, FDA Refused 298 Shipments
By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 20, 2007; A01

Dried apples preserved with a cancer-causing chemical.

Frozen catfish laden with banned antibiotics.

Scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria.

Mushrooms laced with illegal pesticides.

These were among the 107 food imports from China that the Food and
Drug Administration detained at U.S. ports just last month, agency
documents reveal, along with more than 1,000 shipments of tainted
Chinese dietary supplements, toxic Chinese cosmetics and counterfeit
Chinese medicines.

For years, U.S. inspection records show, China has flooded the United
States with foods unfit for human consumption. And for years, FDA
inspectors have simply returned to Chinese importers the small portion
of those products they caught -- many of which turned up at U.S.
borders again, making a second or third attempt at entry.

Now the confluence of two events -- the highly publicized
contamination of U.S. chicken, pork and fish with tainted Chinese pet
food ingredients and this week's resumption of high-level economic and
trade talks with China -- has activists and members of Congress
demanding that the United States tell China it is fed up.

Dead pets and melamine-tainted food notwithstanding, change will prove
difficult, policy experts say, in large part because U.S. companies
have become so dependent on the Chinese economy that tighter rules on
imports stand to harm the U.S. economy, too.

"So many U.S. companies are directly or indirectly involved in China
now, the commercial interest of the United States these days has
become to allow imports to come in as quickly and smoothly as
possible," said Robert B. Cassidy, a former assistant U.S. trade
representative for China and now director of international trade and
services for Kelley Drye Collier Shannon, a Washington law firm.

As a result, the United States finds itself "kowtowing to China,"
Cassidy said, even as that country keeps sending American consumers
adulterated and mislabeled foods.

It's not just about cheap imports, added Carol Tucker Foreman, a
former assistant secretary of agriculture now at the Consumer
Federation of America.

"Our farmers and food processors have drooled for years to be able to
sell their food to that massive market," Foreman said. "The Chinese
counterfeit. They have a serious piracy problem. But we put up with it
because we want to sell to them."

U.S. agricultural exports to China have grown to more than $5 billion
a year-- a fraction of last year's $232 billion U.S. trade deficit
with China but a number that has enormous growth potential, given the
Chinese economy's 10 percent growth rate and its billion-plus
consumers.

Trading with the largely unregulated Chinese marketplace has its
risks, of course, as evidenced by the many lawsuits that U.S. pet food
companies now face from angry consumers who say their pets were
poisoned by tainted Chinese ingredients. Until recently, however, many
companies and even the federal government reckoned that, on average,
those risks were worth taking. And for some products they have had
little choice, as China has driven competitors out of business with
its rock-bottom prices.

But after the pet food scandal, some are recalculating.

"This isn't the first time we've had an incident from a Chinese
supplier," said Pat Verduin, a senior vice president at the Grocery
Manufacturers Association, a trade group in Washington. "Food safety
is integral to brands and to companies. This is not an issue the
industry is taking lightly."

New Focus on the Problem

China's less-than-stellar behavior as a food exporter is revealed in
stomach-turning detail in FDA "refusal reports" filed by U.S.
inspectors: Juices and fruits rejected as "filthy." Prunes tinted with
chemical dyes not approved for human consumption. Frozen breaded
shrimp preserved with nitrofuran, an antibacterial that can cause
cancer. Swordfish rejected as "poisonous."

In the first four months of 2007, FDA inspectors -- who are able to
check out less than 1 percent of regulated imports -- refused 298 food
shipments from China. By contrast, 56 shipments from Canada were
rejected, even though Canada exports about $10 billion in FDA-
regulated food and agricultural products to the United States --
compared to about $2 billion from China.

Although China is subject to more inspections because of its poor
record, those figures mean that the rejection rate for foods imported
from China, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, is more than 25 times that
for Canada.

Miao Changxia, of the Chinese Embassy in Washington, said China
"attaches great importance" to the pet food debacle. "Investigations
were immediately carried out . . . and a host of emergency measures
have been taken to ensure the hygiene and safety of exported plant-
origin protein products," she said in an e-mail.

But deception by Chinese exporters is not limited to plant products,
and some of their most egregiously unfit exports are smuggled into the
United States.

Under Agriculture Department rules, countries cannot export meat and
poultry products to the United States unless the USDA certifies that
the slaughterhouses and processing plants have food-safety systems
equivalent to those here. Much to its frustration, China is not
certified to sell any meat to the United States because it has not met
that requirement.

But that has not stopped Chinese meat exporters. In the past year,
USDA teams have seized hundreds of thousands of pounds of prohibited
poultry products from China and other Asian countries, Agriculture
Secretary Mike Johanns announced in March. Some were shipped in crates
labeled "dried lily flower," "prune slices" and "vegetables,"
according to news reports. It is unclear how much of the illegal meat
slipped in undetected.

Despite those violations, the Chinese government is on track to get
permission to legally export its chickens to the United States -- a
prospect that has raised concern not only because of fears of bacteria
such as salmonella but also because Chinese chickens, if not properly
processed, could be a source of avian flu, which public-health
authorities fear may be poised to trigger a human pandemic.

Last year, under high-level pressure from China, the USDA passed a
rule allowing China to export to the United States chickens that were
grown and slaughtered in North America and then processed in China --
a rule that quickly passed through multiple levels of review and was
approved the day before Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in
Washington last April.

Now the rule that China really wants, allowing it to export its own
birds to the United States, is in the works, said Richard Raymond,
USDA's undersecretary for food safety. Reports in China have
repeatedly hinted that only if China gets its way on chicken exports
to the United States will Beijing lift its four-year-old ban on
importing U.S. beef. Raymond denies any link.

"It's not being facilitated or accelerated through the system at all,"
Raymond said of the chicken rule, adding that permission for China to
sell poultry to the United States is moving ahead because recent USDA
audits found China's poultry slaughterhouses to be equivalent to those
here.

Tony Corbo, a lobbyist for Food and Water Watch, a Washington advocacy
group, said that finding -- which is not subject to outside review --
is unbelievable, given repeated findings of unsanitary conditions at
China's chicken slaughterhouses. Corbo said he has seen some of those
audits. "Everyone who has seen them was grossed out," he said.

An Official Response

The Cabinet-level "strategic economic dialogue" with China, which
began in September and is scheduled to resume on Wednesday, was
described early on as a chance for the United States and China to
break a long-standing stalemate on trade issues. When it comes to the
safety of imported foods, though, they may highlight the limited
leverage that the United States has.

It is not just that food from China is cheap, said William Hubbard, a
former associate director of the FDA. For a growing number of
important food products, China has become virtually the only source in
the world.

China controls 80 percent of the world's production of ascorbic acid,
for example, a valuable preservative that is ubiquitous in processed
and other foods. Only one producer remains in the United States,
Hubbard said.

"That's true of a lot of ingredients," he said, including the wheat
gluten that was initially thought to be the cause of the pet deaths.
Virtually none of it is made in the United States, because the Chinese
sell it for less than it would cost U.S. manufacturers to make it.

So pervasive is the U.S. hunger for cheap imports, experts said, that
the executive branch itself has repeatedly rebuffed proposals by
agency scientists to impose even modest new safety rules for foreign
foods.

"Sometimes guidances can get through, but not regulations," said
Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director at the Center for Science
in the Public Interest, an advocacy group. Guidances, which the FDA
defines as "current thinking on a particular subject," are not
binding.

Under the Bush administration in particular, DeWaal said, if a
proposed regulation does get past agency or department heads, it hits
the wall at the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Andrea Wuebker, an OMB spokeswoman, said that the office reviewed 600
proposed rules last year and that it is up to agencies to finalize
rules after they are reviewed. She did not tally how many reviews sent
agencies' rule-writers back to the drawing board. She noted that some
food safety rules have been finalized, including some related to mad
cow disease and bioterrorism. Critics point out that the bioterrorism-
related regulations were required by an act of Congress.

John C. Bailar III, a University of Chicago professor emeritus who
chaired a 2003 National Academies committee that recommended major
changes in the U.S. food safety system -- which have gone largely
unheeded -- said he has become increasingly concerned that
corporations and the federal government seem willing to put the
interests of business "above the public welfare."

"This nation has -- and has had for decades -- a pressing need for a
wholly dedicated food safety agency, one that is independent and not
concerned with other matters . . . to bring together and extend the
bits of food safety activities now scattered over more than a dozen
agencies," he said in an e-mail.

Legislation to create such an agency was recently introduced, though
many suspect that is too big a challenge politically.

But in the aftermath of the recent food scandals, a growing number of
companies and trade groups, including Grocery Manufacturers of
America, are speaking in favor of at least a little more protection,
starting with a doubling of the FDA's food safety budget.

China is talking tough, too. "Violations of the rules on the use and
addition of chemicals or other banned substances will be dealt with
severely," said Miao, of the Chinese Embassy.

It is a threat some doubt will be enforced with great vigor, but
nonetheless it reveals that China recognizes that the latest scandal
has shortened Americans' fuses.



  #6  
Old May 21st 07, 12:50 AM posted to soc.culture.china,talk.politics.misc,rec.pets.dogs.health,soc.retirement,soc.veterans
chatnoir
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 4
Default China flooding the U.S. with foods unfit for human consumption (Washington Post)

On May 20, 10:40 am, wrote:
Tainted Chinese Imports Common
In Four Months, FDA Refused 298 Shipments
By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 20, 2007; A01

Dried apples preserved with a cancer-causing chemical.

Frozen catfish laden with banned antibiotics.

Scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria.

Mushrooms laced with illegal pesticides.

These were among the 107 food imports from China that the Food and
Drug Administration detained at U.S. ports just last month, agency
documents reveal, along with more than 1,000 shipments of tainted
Chinese dietary supplements, toxic Chinese cosmetics and counterfeit
Chinese medicines.

For years, U.S. inspection records show, China has flooded the United
States with foods unfit for human consumption. And for years, FDA
inspectors have simply returned to Chinese importers the small portion
of those products they caught -- many of which turned up at U.S.
borders again, making a second or third attempt at entry.



Remember, China is an export economy! They could not get away with
what they have done without complicity from US interests! More info
here!:

http://itchmo.com/

  #7  
Old May 21st 07, 11:52 AM posted to soc.culture.china,talk.politics.misc,rec.pets.dogs.health,soc.retirement,soc.veterans
chatnoir
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 4
Default China flooding the U.S. with foods unfit for human consumption (Washington Post)


wrote:
Tainted Chinese Imports Common
In Four Months, FDA Refused 298 Shipments
By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 20, 2007; A01

Dried apples preserved with a cancer-causing chemical.

Frozen catfish laden with banned antibiotics.

Scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria.

Mushrooms laced with illegal pesticides.

These were among the 107 food imports from China that the Food and
Drug Administration detained at U.S. ports just last month, agency
documents reveal, along with more than 1,000 shipments of tainted
Chinese dietary supplements, toxic Chinese cosmetics and counterfeit
Chinese medicines.


The fifth column working in the US for China!:

http://eternitycaptured.com/blog/200...oods-problems/

Stock Sale Coincidences - More Menu Foods Problems


It was reported today that the CFO of Menu Foods profited from a large
stock sale just a couple weeks before the announcement of the recent
pet food recall. While I am sure there is no way he could have known
his company's contaminated food would soon lead to an outbreak of
kidney failure in hundreds if not thousands of our pets, the
annoucement of the incident as a "horrible coincidence" led me to
wonder where else I might have heard the term "coincidence".

Here are some of my favorites:

Martha Stewart:

From www.nytimes.com


''There was a lot of stock dumped in the 48 hours before the F.D.A.
acted,'' said Ken Johnson, a spokesman for the committee. ''What's so
curious is that most of the people involved were either on vacation or
at vacation homes when these transactions were executed. Was this all
an extraordinary coincidence, or did someone have insider knowledge?''

Bill Frist:

From www.rawstory.com


"The timing of the agreement could raise further questions about
Frist's ties to the company. Given that the Justice Department had
been investigating HCA since 1993 - some 120 months - the coincidence
of a settlement date so close to Frist's leadership election is
striking."

David Zucker (CEO Midway Games):

From www.businessweek.com


"A lucky coincidence? Just good timing? Or something more? It's the
sort of insider sale that's drawing increasing attention because it
came after Zucker created what's known as a 10b5-1 plan. These trading
programs, named for the SEC rule in 2000 that authorized them, were
designed to create a way for executives to sell shares without facing
insider-trading charges."

Phillip Anschutz (Founder Qwest Communications):

From www.businessweek.com


"According to a whistle-blower lawsuit filed by former Global Crossing
employee Roy Olofson, Qwest and Global Crossing exchanged about $200
million worth of network capacity in the first and second quarters of
2001. And Global Crossing Chairman Gary Winnick entered into a $123
million stock sale in the same month that Anschutz sold-May of 2001.
It may all be a coincidence, but there were certainly a lot of shares
being sold at a curious time."

Noel Forgeard (CEO Airbus Parent Co EADS):

From www.foxnews.com


"European Aeronautics Defence & Space Co.'s French co-CEO, Noel
Forgeard, described as an "unfortunate coincidence" the stock sales in
March on which he earned 2.5 million euros ($3.1 million) in profits."

Jeff Skilling (CEO Enron)

From www.npr.org (opens an audio .wmv file)


"Skilling repeatedly asserted that the timing of all the sales [$60
million worth] was a coincidence."

Is it a coincidence that there is so much coincidence surrounding the
stock selling activities of corporate executives? It sure seems hard
to believe that is the case. Apparently, greed is still good, even
when it is sheer coincidence.

 




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