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U.S. Senator: Chinese Garlic is a National Security Threat


Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott wrote to the United States Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo Friday claiming that Chinese garlic is unsafe because of unsanitary production methods.

In his letter, Senator Scott highlighted the "severe public health concern over the quality and safety of garlic grown in foreign countries - most notably, garlic grown in Communist China."

China is the world's largest exporter of fresh and chilled garlic, and the U.S. is one of its largest consumers. However, officials say the trade is controversial since the U.S. has accused Beijing of "dumping" garlic on the international market at below-cost prices.

Scott referred to practices documented in videos, cooking blogs, and documentaries, including growing garlic in sewage.

The Senator called for the Department of Commerce to act by investigating the impact of specific imports on the security of the U.S. He went on about the various types of garlic the agency needs to investigate, including "all grades of garlic, whole or separated into cloves, whether or not peeled, chilled, fresh, frozen, provisionally preserved or packed in water or other neutral substance."

"Food safety and security is an existential emergency that poses grave threats to our national security, public health, and economic prosperity," he said.

In the past few decades, tensions between China and the U.S. have increased following the Communist government's military buildup and activities in the South China Sea against Taiwan. China has also managed to spread its influence in social media apps like TikTok, prompting calls from lawmakers in the House and Senate to ban the app indefinitely. Republican lawmakers have also called on the Biden administration to stand up against China by supporting efforts to de-couple the U.S. economy from Beijing's grip.

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