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Chinese Investigative Journalists Expose Food Safety Scandal, Highlighting the Importance of Watchdog Reporting

An investigative report in China has exposed a dangerous practice in the food industry, where tanker trucks are used to transport both edible oils and kerosene without proper cleaning between loads. This revelation has sparked public outrage and prompted official investigations.

The report, published by Beijing News on July 2, was the result of a month-and-a-half-long undercover investigation by three journalists. It implicated major state-owned and private food oil companies, as well as chemical plants and transportation companies.

The lead investigator, Han Futao, is a veteran journalist known for his dedication to undercover reporting. His work has highlighted the importance of investigative journalism in China, with some saying that “five investigative reporters are worth 100 market regulators.”

The report has reignited public interest in investigative journalism, which has been declining in China due to worsening conditions for free speech. A 2017 report indicated that the number of investigative journalists in traditional media had decreased by 58%, with only 175 remaining at that time.

The expose has led to an outpouring of support from Chinese netizens, with many making donations to Beijing News to show their appreciation for the reporters’ courage in revealing the truth. This incident underscores the ongoing challenges faced by journalists in China and the public’s hunger for accurate, investigative reporting.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), July 9, 2024