As food and toy safety concerns sizzle in the media, Ethical Corp published a readable article on the recent history of demand and supply of pork in China. It is useful because it illustrates how markets work in China. And it’s amusing. Here’s an extract:
Pig farmers responded the same way all Chinese producers of everything from Thomas the Tank Engine toys to DVD players respond to increased demand, by quickly adding capacity. They bulked up the pigs on steroids – notably the widespread illegal use of the growth-promoting drug clenbuterol, which is often abused by bodybuilders and dieters in the US and Europe and has been banned by international sports authorities – to get better prices, and continued doing this even as swine flu took hold and consumers switched back to chicken.