China continues to receive bad press for its whopping woes. Taken individually the stories of excess and avarice are enough to inspire shock and awe. Read in sequence, they can suggest horrors too vile to ponder. Consider, for example the following two AP stories I spotted in today’s Yahoo news.

China says food safety scares threaten stability

BEIJING (AP) 9 July, 2007- China’s food safety crisis has tarnished its reputation abroad and threatens to spur social unrest at home, where more health scares are expected, a top official was quoted as saying Monday. Domestic cases from the past year include drug-tainted fish, banned Sudan dye used to color egg yolks red, and pork tainted with clenbuterol, a banned feed additive.

2 billion Chinese mice overrun lake area

BEIJING (AP) 9 July, 2007- An estimated 2 billion mice are ravaging crops in 22 counties around central China’s Dongting Lake, and authorities were rushing to construct walls and ditches to keep the rodents out. Residents have killed more than 2.3 million field mice — or 90 tons of the rodents, Xinhua said. Residents were using clubs and shovels to beat them to death, while others scooped the furry animals out using fishing nets.