Say It Ain’t So, Joe

The comedian Sandra Tsing Loh has a great bit in one of her books. The Southern California writer is talking about what it’s like to go to parties thrown by the different LA demographics. Parties held by her social peers, she notes, tend to be marked by “everyone standing around rehashing their workweek while voraciously consuming room-temperature Trader Joe’s products.”

It’s funny because, for a certain swath of health- and budget-conscious urban singles and families, Trader Joe’s is ubiquitous. With its emphasis on affordable organics and moderately healthy packaged food, the company has won many hearts.

That’s why it pains us to have to give it a big ol’ swat for simultaneously caving to consumer hysteria about products from China and doing it half-assedly.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the company is pulling from its shelves “single-ingredient products” from China. But not products that have multiple ingredients, some of which could be from China. Thus, not really protecting anyone.

Perhaps instead of ineffective bans on foreign products, Trader Joe’s could instead throw its resources behind reforming the country-of-origin labeling laws.

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