MEAIII - China China is one of the oldest civilizations on...

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China China is one of the oldest civilizations on our planet; and has been a key factor in world economics for centuries. (Starr) Recently, China’s care for its safety standards has been questioned. In an article written in late June of this year, the FDA bans the import of drugged fish from China. The article explains that five species of fish will no longer be allowed into the United States until China can prove its fish are not contaminated with drugs and/or unsafe food additives. These said drugs and food additives have been proven to cause cancer in laboratory animals over a period of prolonged use. (CNN.com) This disregard for safety in its food supply begs the question, ‘What is going on over there?’ Through an investigation of simple rights of humanity and general pollution in China, I hope to answer this question. I would argue that a country’s view on pollution is a mirror of the country’s view on human rights. European countries such as Germany and England have extensive recycling programs that are a concerted effort to reduce waste, and pollution. In relation, these countries also have a high quality of life, and view each individual life as important. China on the other hand, is known for its high pollution rates. Does this also translate to a low view on humanity? In a short story we read at the beginning of the year entitled, ‘The Clan of One- Breasted Women,’ we see another example of how pollution relates to a view on human rights. In the story, a family is driving through Utah in 1957, when an explosion goes off in the desert beside them. This explosion was a part of Operation Plumbbob, one of the
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most ‘intensive series of bomb tests to be initiated’ in the United States. (The Clan of One-Breasted Women, 205) In the 1950s, the United States was in a Cold War with the Soviet Union. This war was a test of bravado mainly, a test to see who could build the biggest guns. During this time, it became necessary for the United States to put the lives of all ahead of the lives of individuals. The testing of this nuclear bomb, which eventually led to many cases of breast cancer in the author’s family, was an example of this disregard for individual human rights. Our view on individual rights has changed greatly since the Cold War and I think it is safe to say, America will not be testing nuclear bombs near its citizens any time soon. Now you might be asking, how does that story relate to China’s pollution? China unfortunately seems to have tossed individual rights to the dogs in exchange for the gains it will make by continuing to use its dangerous nuclear plants. In a program created by the network PBS called NOVA, China’s pollution is inspected. The episode ‘World in the Balance: China revs up,’ gives in-depth detail of China’s absolute disregard for the environment and its people. The opening statement from the narrator sums up the show’s purpose, ‘We used to worry that population, too many people, would destroy the environment. Now we understand that there's
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MEAIII - China China is one of the oldest civilizations on...

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