South Africa spurns free trade to protect its meat market

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America and South Africa are beating the drumsticks of trade war

The Economist

Nov 17th 2015

SOUTH AFRICANS eat about 1.8m tonnes of chicken a year, from flame-grilled drumsticks slathered in peri-peri sauce to “walkie talkies”, a dish of chicken feet and heads popular in townships. Chicken, the cheapest meat here, is the main source of protein for poorer South Africans. But demand is growing, and a weak currency has sent prices soaring by 13% over the past two years. Prices may well climb higher still due to a scorching drought that is devastating South African agriculture and pushing up the price of grain that farmers feed to chickens.

All of this makes the South African government’s slowness in resolving a trade impasse with America over imports of chicken, beef and pork all the more baffling. The chicken dispute, in particular, has been dragging on for some 15 years. American producers complain that their access to the South African market is frustrated by high duties (imposed ostensibly because American producers have been “dumping” chicken at below the cost of production) and a bewildering array of non-tariff barriers such as concerns that American chicken may be contaminated by bird flu or other diseases.

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 Men’s Fitness

How to avoid the possibility of eating poisonous rice.

Eaters of white and brown rice have healthier diets— they take in more fruits and vegetables and less saturated fat and added sugar, a Baylor College of Medicine study of more than 14,000 adults showed. But all’s not well in Riceville. It turns out, the grain is often tainted with carcinogenic metals, especially when crops are grown in once industrial areas. In China, the concern is cadmium, a metallic compound that may cause cancer and kidney disease. In fact, a Greenpeace East Asia test found unsafe levels of cadmium in 12 of 13 rice crops sampled. Stateside, arsenic is the enemy, though the FDA has so far deemed levels too low to cause immediate adverse health effects.

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