Salt Panic: Chinese Fearing Japan Radiation Rush To Buy Salt

Chinese people in Lanzhou scrambling to buy salt.

Due to radiation fears from the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan, many Chinese citizens have rushed to buy salt under the belief that it will help fight the effects of radiation due to it’s iodine content. Despite being told that anyone outside of Japan has little to fear from the situation there, and that the salt has such low quantities of iodine that it wouldn’t have any effect anyway, many Chinese have still flocked to stores, supermarkets, and dispensaries in a panic to buy some while they can.

Some pictures from Sina:

Chinese lining up to buy salt in mainland China over fears of radiation or radiation pollution.

Chinese lining up to buy salt in mainland China over fears of radiation or radiation pollution.

Chinese lining up to buy salt in mainland China over fears of radiation or radiation pollution.

Chinese lining up to buy salt in mainland China over fears of radiation or radiation pollution.

Chinese consumers scramble to purchase salt in supermarkets across China, fearing radiation from Japan's continuing nuclear power plant disaster.

An empty supermarket shelf.

Chinese shoppers with boxes of salt in their shopping carts.

Chinese consumers make a run on salt over fears of radiation from Japan's ongoing nuclear disaster.

Crowds of Chinese shoppers at a Metro supermarket in China rushing to buy salt and even soy sauce following fears of radiation from Japan's ongoing nuclear disaster.

Comments from Tudou:

AIR—青空夏影:

—。—!Early in the morning I heard that salt was going to be out of stock. Walking down the road I saw people carrying one or two boxes of salt on their shoulders (one box has 50 bags in it and one bag is 500g = 25kg) so I went to grab some salt as well. However, I was too late, not a single bag was left within a 3 kilometer radius 0 0!Only after I returned home and looked online did I realize this is a result of rumors.

Big、show爱德华:

Last night in a certain supermarket, everyone was fighting with each other over who got to buy the salt, while a single old lady on the side calmly browsed the other goods, even shaking her head and laughing. Someone nearby walked up and asked her why she wasn’t fighting to buy some salt and the old woman laughed and answered: I still haven’t used all the salt I bought during the SARS incident!

囧ˇ斌:

From this we can see much about China’s national circumstances.

骨se胭zhi:

It is said that no one said salt could protect against radiation. It is that everyone thought the salt they consume is sea salt, and they’re panic buying because they thought the sea salt in the future would be irradiated. What’s all this about salt protecting against radiation? You haven’t gotten things straight, did you think the ordinary common people were buying salt to rub it all over their bodies…?

aa7776537:

Truly embarrassing. Japan has an earthquake and everyone is still able to live in an orderly way, yet in China people are in life and death fights for salt. We can see that the character of Chinese people is lower than low.

kcake:

This is what the state of the country is like!!! Education is still the key!!!

hunbagu:

Americans fearing exposure to radiation are panic buying potassium iodide. Although officials from the US health department repeatedly said that radiation from Japan wouldn’t affect the US, yet still we see the crazy situation of people rushing to buy potassium iodide. Many large pharmacists have faced sudden increased sales in potassium iodide with some even selling out. The media over there reported that on the west coast in Oregon, California, Hawaii, etc. the shelves for potassium iodide were empty.

wenxinlan:

Sigh~~~ embarrassing us in front of the whole world,  ignorance is truly frightening. Others rushing to buy iodine tablets is correct/makes sense, taking a tablet within 1 hour of exposure to radiation, but that’s still “after being exposed to radiation”! But with the little iodine in salt…. it needs to be eaten like rice to have any kind of effect, still no ones afraid of getting a thyroid tumour?!

大声告诉你‘:

Japan has an earthquake. Japan doesn’t go crazy, whereas China does.

lhh1977:

Chinese people’s character is 80 years behind Japan’s. Yesterday, I saw with my own eyes people getting into physical fights over salt. Tragic, real tragic. Think about why back then Japan was invincible in China, you know why now yeah?

抚你脖间:

Eating too much salt can severely damage your kidneys, causing failure. Don’t you know that men shouldn’t eat too much salt? ~It can also severely block blood flow which can easily form a thrombus, thus causing myocardial infarction. So let those that like to eat salt die of myocardial infarction and kidney failure! Hahahahaha~

TXBB:

The former Soviet Union’s history shows us how many countries up to now still have citizens who have been harmed. The situation in Japan will still get more and more serious. Are you guys willing to guarantee it won’t spread to China? Go spend more time looking at history.

Chinese shoppers in Beijing waiting in line to purchase salt over radiation fears.

Comments from Youku:

qhyocean:

I’m going to go and buy some salt too, but not for so-called prevention, its mainly because I’m afraid the seawater in the next year or year and a half will be polluted…

蝈蝈0343:

Japanese laugh seeing the Chinese rushing to buy salt!!

爷、胯下的韩国人:

Eating salts helps prevent decomposition, do you all want to turn into mummies?

讨厌上班:

I’m from Yancheng [literally “Salt City”, located in Jiangsu province], nobody here has participated in this retarded rush to buy salt.

深圳njleo:

Hehe~~ This is a bad habit of Chinese people~!! Hehe~~ My mum went and bought two bags a couple of days ago~~ made me so angry~~ Hehe~~ Today, I brought the salt back to the supermarket to return it~ Yet the supermarket surprisingly said they wouldn’t take it back~~ The receipt didn’t even have salt printed on it~~ I got angry~~ I immediately called the Trade and Industry Bureau~~ Only when someone from the Trade and Industry Bureau came did they accept my return ~@@~@ I am calling out right here: “Those comrades that have already bought expensive salt~ please take it back to the supermarket and return it~! Don’t let these black-hearted bosses make black-hearted money~!! Salt has a set price~! Selling it above this price is illegal!

@颤抖抖颤:

Its all a bunch of aunties and uncles [older people] rushing to buy. Their generation can only be like this, not having much sophistication/education, being really easily tricked, and like to go with the crowd.

薛营:

Yep, a generation lacking education….

薛营:

So many retarded stupid cunts…..being uncultured/uneducated is truly frightening.

唐晓军子:

Those illegally dealing salt should all be locked away in prison.

Beg虎啸:

Those speculating on salt should be taken out and shot 100 times!!!

拉级:

Japanese truly are disgusting. Clearly an island country where wind power is the most suitable for yet they still choose nuclear power~ Clearly knowing it is an area where there are frequent earthquakes and they still build nuclear power plants, and it is a vanquished country too. Being like will cause harm to all of humanity. I fucking hate Little Japan. When other people’s nuclear bombs blow up your home, you’ll regret it them~  Japan’s ambition will never change~~~~

Chinese in Hong Kong lining up to buy salt.

Salty. Personals @ chinaSMACK.

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  • Captain China

    Boom. First.

    Also, a rush on salt. I love how the government issued statements on not to panic buy salt, but the people ignored the higher echelons. I hope a change is coming.

  • vince

    gimme the sofa or some salt.

    • vince

      guess im settling for salt, also i heard that the price was tripled or something for salt during the ‘salt rush’, is it legal to be able to hike up the price like that?

      • Pvt. Joker

        It’s China, they do whatever they want. Robbing from the masses is standard practice there, look at their officials.

        • Chad

          Are you kidding me? It’s called supply and demand – a basic economic principle.

          • vince

            Yes well there is a department of the government that sets the pricing for some commodities and salt being one of them, so hiking the price was illegal. I believe i read that there will be repercussions for vendors who chose to make the most of the paranoia experienced by the public for their own personal gain. Google is your friend.

          • Anonanon

            Price ceilings are enforced on goods like salt, bread, flour, sugar, all kinds of basic commodities. If these price ceilings are not enforced, then the entire country will be affected by inflation which then negatively affects GDP, wages, etc.

            Basic economics.

          • http://www.ethansenglishcafe.com Ethan

            Actually it’s more commonly called price gouging and is considered incredibly disgusting. Not to say it’s a Chinese thing, many people do this, after 9/11 in New York water and gas was being sold for heavily inflated prices.

          • Chad

            There’s nothing unethical about price gouging. More people want it? You can raise the price. It’s only a problem because it’s unpopular with the general public. If you do introduce price ceilings, you just create black markets and hoarding and even more corruption because of the extra bureaucracy, which of course the Chinese government loves.

            And yes, in China they have ridiculous price ceilings along with other inefficiencies like huge state-controlled industries and plenty of investment restrictions. You don’t see this stuff often in developed countries.

            My point is there’s nothing wrong with raising prices in response to increased demand. Go wiki the effects of price ceilings.

            Basic economics.

          • Chad

            And I’m surprised some of you think price ceilings and anti-price gouging laws actually do good for anything but populism. You learn how ineffective these things are in ECON 101. Go wiki their effects seriously.

            And Vince, I wasn’t responding to you and implying that there aren’t price controls in China, I was responding to Pvt. Joker because he thinks there’s something wrong with it. Yes, governments sometimes introduce these price ceiling and price gouging laws to gain favour with the public, usually in time of disaster and war or whatnot. Any economist will tell you however that they don’t work and make the problem worse.

            It’s like how protectionism is well-liked by the public and it seems like a good idea, but in the end economists will explain to you why it doesn’t work, and they’re right.

          • Ray

            I don’t think that price gouging is ethical because that is often occurs during times of natural disasters or state of emergencies. A normal increase in price due of supply and demand of goods is a logical and reasonable result, but price gouging is different.

            This type of price gouging is to have a significant increase in demand without a significant increase in supply, instead of the typical scenario where the supply has actually dropped and there are no increases in demand (for essential living products, not luxury goods). In this case of the salt price increasing, it is just a greedy market trying to cash in on the fact that people are scared and increasing the price.

            The price gouging positive effects of reducing demand by increase price does not apply in this situation. The essential item here is salt, something that is rather cheap to begin with when comparing to the rest of your living expenses, therefore raising the price by a few factors would not make the item’s demand drop, it will actually have the negative affect of increasing its demand by suggesting there is a drop in supply.

            Looking at the wiki for price ceiling, it seems to suggest that price ceiling are negatively used when the correct solution is to increase supply or when the problem is that the supply is too low, but as stated by the above posters that the government had advised the public that the salt supply is not too low as they have enough salt to last the whole country for 3 months, therefore the negative effects of price ceiling should not be applied to this situation.

            Ofcourse theses opinions are my personal views and I do not suggest that they are stone facts, and I am also clarifying that I’m not a econ student or major in anything relevant, these opinions are based on brief research and application of common sense.

          • Jon

            “…after 9/11 in New York water and gas was being sold for heavily inflated prices.” – Ethan

            Nope.
            – NYer

          • Ryan

            “If you introduce price ceilings you just create black markets and hoarding”…. mmmm, yeah….
            Price ceilings create black markets? How exactly does that work?
            This salt/flour/food is really cheap! I know, let’s sell it illegally for even cheaper!
            Your logic is flawed – that or it is entirely driven by ideology. Which Econ 101 did you take? Did you go to school?
            Governments everywhere set price ceilings (or give subsidies) for basic necessities for the simple fact that people having affordable food is important for a well-functioning society. Even from a Free Market perspective it is important. If people spend every penny they make on food, they are not buying “stuff”. If no one is buying “stuff”, then no one is selling it, and after a short time, no one is making it. We are long past being a nation of farmers.
            As for price gouging, if it isn’t unethical – and that’s very debatable – than it’s still disgusting. People who make a fortune preying on the needy are scum.
            I imagine governments started imposing laws on price gouging ages ago – to cut down on the lynchings…

          • vince

            Ah sorry Chad my bad. In any case these vendor’s shouldn’t try to make profits like this, it’s just so unethical. I do hope a time comes when social awareness trumps greed, but that may be wishful thinking. :'(

          • Chad

            “Price ceilings create black markets? How exactly does that work? This salt/flour/food is really cheap! I know, let’s sell it illegally for even cheaper!”

            Because people who do get the product in question wil re-sell it illegally. Google black markets and price ceilings. It’s standard ECON 101 if I recall correctly. Think about it. If a seller can sell something for $50 in times of crisis (w/o price celing), and suddenly a price ceiling limits him to selling it for $1, you’re bound to get people who in some way or another buy all 50 of the stock for $1 each and then re-sell it for a higher price in a black market. This all stems from the fact that price ceiling create shortages because prices are not allowed to adjust to demand.

          • Ray

            Wouldn’t having every shop sell it at $50 per piece already be making every shop into a black market? Since you are assuming that black markets will buy out everything and sell it for a higher price.

            So why not just let the price up in the beginning so that people can get ripped off right off the bat. You make it sound like that as soon as the demand is needed, some well organized black market will buy out everything before anyone innocent have a chance to buy any stock at all.

            And to buy out every supply in the whole country and selling it in such a big bulk without being caught is mighty cunning of them.

            You make it sound easy to buy out every stock by using the value of $50 to $1 and suggesting that it is an essential living item, but when you turn that into $50, 000 and $1,000 and then suddenly it won’t seem like being totally brought out would be an issue.

            Black markets usually deal in illegal items or hard to obtain items. The essential living items would not be considered illegal nor hard to obtain, therefore there is little cause for it to be sold on the black market. One would argue that selling salt at a higher price would be illegal during a price ceiling on the product, but the only way for the black markets to make a good profit off the salt is to control the majority of all the salt in the country. Since they already declared that they have more than 3 months worth of salt in supply, you’ll have to buy at least 2 months worth that can feed a whole country before being able to profit from the situation. Ofcourse there could be alot of black markets doing independent deals, but in this case the prices would not be agreed upon and then competitive pricing will start to kick in, especially when the rumors about the salt begin to clear, it’ll reduce the demand even more. In this case I don’t think anyone will be stupid enough to mass buy salt and sell on a black market…

          • Chad

            “Wouldn’t having every shop sell it at $50 per piece already be making every shop into a black market? Since you are assuming that black markets will buy out everything and sell it for a higher price. ”

            And it’s a pretty good assumption as it’s been demonstrated many times with price ceilings and is literally mentioned in every economics textbook with real-world examples. Price ceilings promote shortages and hoarding and thus black markets with a concentration of supply in fewer sellers. If prices are allowed to reflect demand, this is less likely to happen. Short answer.

    • kacha

      shutup with that sofa shit, it’s been used way past it’s limit.

      btw, these kids are bunch of selfish retards. comparing japan’s victims versus this bunch of herded cowardice makes me sick.

      • vince

        yeah sure big talk from someone who’s never had a sofa, sit on the floor and shut up.

  • tony heaney

    Hi There i am tony im from Ireland and if any oine wants to buy any salt email me we got loads h ere

  • Banlas

    Maybe it’s time not to restrict to one child/family but one child/10family. No point to have too much Chinese around in the world. Too backward, too easily influence by rumor, too disorderly, too coward etc etc

    • Bo Wang

      What about India? Arguably, they’re more backward and are breeding with no restriction at the moment.

      • Matt

        True, India has no restrictions at the moment. however, the Indian government does does pay men to get vasectomies. Medically and economically speaking, a vasectomy is the most effective, simplest, and least costly method to control population.

      • greater

        u belong to which country? india is backward in ur mind….plz see the facts then open ur dumb face…
        *THE LARGEST DEMOCRACY IN THE WORLD.
        *THE FAMOUS “UNITY IN DIVERSITY ” OF INDIA (INTRACULTURAL. A MIX OF ALL RELEGIONS RELEGION OF THE WORLD).
        *ONE OF THE ANCIENT (OVER 5000 YERA OLD) STILL LIVING CULTURES IN THE WORLD.
        *CONTRIBUTE A LOT TO SCIENCE,MATHS.ASTRONOMY AND MEDICINE SINCE 1000s OF YERAS.
        * MOST INTRESTING: INDIAN (NON RESIDENTIAL INDIANS-NRIs) ARE IN 180 OF THE 183 COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD!!!

        • greater

          there are many more points to speak abt INDIA…Mr. Bo Wang…

          • Shawn Wilkes

            India has contributed much to the world, granted, but they need to get the population problem under control. Overpopulation is not a country-by-country problem, it is a world problem. I feel disgusted when I see families with 3, 4, 5+ kids nowadays. It’s just too selfish.

            If you want more than one child, then help a child in need and adopt.

  • Ronon

    This is so embarrassing… Japan has a 9.0 earthquake, a 7m tsunami sweeping the streets and a nuclear crisis, yet they’re still able to act in such an admirable way.

    And the chinese trample each other to buy salt…

    • Sunshine

      It’s always been like this. Should have gotten used to it by now?

    • Su le Legionaries

      How bloodily dump of our self on this!!!

      I have saw shop owner in Macau telling peoples shame yourself

  • Otto

    Eatiing to much salt at once will kill you.
    Be aware of eating to much salt!!!!!

  • ray

    The last comment is very sad blinkered.

  • Irvin

    This is embarrassing……..salt doesn’t only comes from sea, you can get it from a salt mine as well………

    It also doesn’t do shit for radiation strong enough to harm us.

    This shows how under educated people in china are. The government should put a teacher with a big mic in front of each line and educate its citizen.

    I already got some friends from MSN calling me “salty”……….

    • Anonanon

      If you read the article, it says the Chinese are flocking to buy salt because there’s iodine in it which deters radiation.

      • http://www.ethansenglishcafe.com Ethan

        And if you read his comments you’ll see he says “It also doesn’t do shit for radiation strong enough to harm us. ”

        The iodine in salt is at such low levels it doesn’t help in that sort of a situation at all.

        “The government should put a teacher with a big mic in front of each line and educate its citizen. ”

        Could have been a good use of the chenguan for once…

        • Anonanon

          I appreciate your relentless stalking of my comments, but my point was the fact that the Chinese people who are buying the salt do not know that the iodine content in the salt is nominal, and that are truly convinced that it (salt) will help them.

          Now return to the corner of the classroom, if you will. Don’t forget your dunce hat.

          • Irvin

            Hence, the comment about educating the citizen. The point of my comment was about the education level of people in china and the retarded things they do due to their intellectual deficiencies.

          • Rick in China

            You replied to his root-thread comment, Anonanon, I don’t see how his replying to your useless reply is stalking. Educating the masses is very important, and here’s why:

            http://www.who.int/hac/crises/jpn/faqs/en/index6.html

            Should I take iodized salt to protect myself from radiation?

            No, you should not take iodized salt to protect yourself from radiation. It is dangerous to take large amounts of iodized salt in order to increase the amount of stable iodine in the body.
            Increasing one’s daily intake of iodized salt will cause more harm than good. The main ingredient of iodized salt is sodium chloride, which is linked with hypertension (high blood pressure) and other medical disorders. The iodine content in iodized salt is too low to prevent uptake of radioiodine.
            Sodium chloride is acutely toxic in large amounts: even tablespoon quantities of salt repeatedly taken over a short period of time could cause poisoning

          • ralphrepo

            According to the World Health Organization, the amount in regular iodized table salt contains so little, that one would have to ingest approximately 1.4 KG (about three pounds) each day, in order to get the equivalent of one standard daily potassium iodide pill. Moreover, even if potassium iodide tablet was available, it would serve to ONLY protect against accumulation of radiation (from radioactive iodine) at the Thyroid gland. The rest of the body would still be irradiated and one would still get radiation sickness.

            The real interesting thing here isn’t the lack of public education (in addition to soy sauce, some people are even purchasing salted preserved vegetables in bulk; here in NY some are buying to ship to China) but rather, that despite government reassurances in the PRC, people are nonetheless flocking to markets to buy more. Remember that this is a market with a background of tainted milk, melamine toxins, and poor construction cover ups. It really illustrates the degree of faith that the Chinese have in their government controlled media being able to tell them the overall truth about consumables and things that impact public safety.

  • Valmont

    This is funny yet sad at the same time. I want to laugh and cry.

  • Chef Rocco

    An interesting observation:

    during the crisis, Japanese government has been trying hard to conceal and downplay truth of the nuclear catastrophe, and Japanese people seem to have no suspect on their government.

    On the other hand, Chinese government tries to tell truth about the uselessness of salt on radiation, Chinese people appear to brush off the advice.

    • Jimmy

      Who would trust the Chinese government?

    • Tommy

      The Japanese government is supervised by the people, the Chinese government isn’t.

      The Chinese government lies–constantly–and Chinese people know this. Why would they trust ANYTHING that they said?

      • Chad

        Haha Tommy! Spoken like someone who has never been to Japan.The Japanese government is absolutely not trusthworthy and neither is their media. I met an ABC correspondent in Japan and she told me this outright – Japanese journalists do not question their government so they do and say whatever they want, and they are notorious for this in the journalism industry.

      • scqxd

        It’s like the government who cried wolf. Or something to that extent.

      • Chef Rocco

        Tommy boy, tell us how Japanese people are supervising their government? Especially when Japanese government provided insufficient information on the severity of the nuclear crisis?

        Foreign governments frustrated with Japan
        http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110319003204.htm

        • PeterScriabin

          Did the thought penetrate your skull that the link you yourself provide contains, and is itself by its very existence, one tiny instance of the evidence you say you are seeking?

          A discussion of Japanese democracy seems completely off-topic in this thread, so I apologize for this post – but sometimes people say things that are just too fatuous to let by.

          • Chef Rocco

            Peter, is your thought always out of focus flying like a fly?

            I am not talking about Japanese democracy here, I am talking about misinformation and “fog of war” launched by Japanese government and media during the nuclear crisis, so you are checking your “book” again and see if my comment is against “democracy” and “freedom” in your “book”?

          • PeterScriabin

            Chef, I am not going to rag on someone whose first language is obviously not English, other than to observe that your latest post is incoherent, from start to finish. In an effort to be constructive, and hopefully without boring anyone reading this to tears, may I attempt to summarize the relevant aspect of this sub-thread so far?

            Chef: the Japanese government has not told the truth yet the people there seem uncritical of that.

            Tommy: the Japanese government is “supervised by the people” (ie. a sanction on government misinformation is ultimately built into the Japanese state, which is more than can be said for…).

            Chef: (arrogant, insulting tone of voice) How can you claim the Japanese people are supervising their government? Look, to show you what I mean, here is evidence that people [a media organization] in Japan are already beginning to complain volubly about being lied to by their government!

            Peter: Your post contradicts itself!

            Chef: [incomprehensible blather…]

            Look, I don’t want to get hung up with you here on (English) language. In a democracy, the people, to a greater or lesser extent, “supervise the government”. Japan is somewhere on this continuum. As yet, China really isn’t.

            That was Tommy’s explanation of your (not very) “interesting observation”. As far as I can tell, you have yet to address Tommy’s argument at all successfully.

            If you simply wish to retreat to the position that the Japanese government has been less-than-forthcoming, no one’s going to argue with you, I think, especially since (as I tried to say earlier) the point is colossally irrelevant to this thread about certain shopping habits of some Chinese people.

          • Chef Rocco

            Peter, You should try screenwriting for Hollywood movie, it is really a waste for you to spend so much time writing one page dialogue with your own interpretations here, you can even read into other poster’s emotion and expression, wow! (admirably, with respectable tone of voice).

            I am trying to copy your style as below:

            Peter: (condescendingly with perfectly English grammar and tone) English is your second language, I happen to be a ESL teacher, so whatever you say in English is incomprehensible blather.

            Chef (humbly, no mood in rebating): Ya, your excellency of English Nazi!

          • staylost

            Ownage:

            Brought to you by PeterScriabin.

            That was sweet!

        • B-real

          This string of posting was priceless. You can get this type of entertainment anywhere else

  • Tommy

    Thousands of children die in an earthquake–the government hides it.

    HIV spreads through blood donations–the government hides it.

    Milk sickens thousands and kills children–the government hides it.

    100,000 Chinese rush out to buy salt–it really doesn’t f*cking matter what the government says… does it?

    • PeterScriabin

      Not only that – but the same government imposes torture and lengthy prison sentences on citizens who even attempt to point out the truth in public.

    • CHNinUSA

      you should “the gov tried to hide it” because obviously they failed.

    • Irvin

      Government in china got power, but not credibility.

  • McCurry

    I bet most of these people don’t even know why they’re lining up or buying salt. It just seem like the popular/cool thing to do

  • Joe

    Peasants will be peasants.

  • dim mak

    I’m was just telling a friend the other day Americans were stupid for panic buying potassium iodide…

    The strange thing is, unlike HK or American news, mainland news has not been extremely sensationalist about the nuclear threat. This spate of panic buying is almost based entirely on internet rumormongering. Some people take the internet way too seriously up there…

    • cdn icehole

      Americans are not alone. Canadians on the West Coast are clearing Potassium Iodide off the shelves as well. To put into perspective on how remote it is to get high dosage of radiation, it’s about 8500 KM between Sendai and Vancouver! Now there is a shortage of KI and people who really need it can’t get it. The World is full of stupid people.

      As for the article, the line up at the store doesn’t appear to be that disorderly. The store owner could have placed a limit on how much each customer can buy. However, if the news on the mainland received mild coverage then there’s no way the store owner would have predicted this.

    • bomber

      Technically you could say that The Americans and Canadians are over-reacting to the situation. However I would not go so far to say that they were *stupid* to buy it for the simple reason that if there is a radiological disaster you will need KI to protect your thyroid. This is the correct thing to do – salt on the other hand… yeeeaaah… You would need to consume five cups of iodized salt every day to get enough KI to protect your thyroid. That much salt would destroy your kidneys in no time. You would die of a salt overdose quickly.

      Problem is, the Japanese government has not been upfront about the crisis. Obviously, all governments lie… I would argue that despite the idiotic nature of this salt panic the Chinese are smart to distrust whatever their government says… And likewise the Japanese are morons for being soy coy and trustworthy. (though I do commend their restraint and the orderly way in which they have handled themselves)

      • Ray

        I completely agree with your post, except for the last lil’bit. If the japanese really do place their full trust in the government and the government is lying their asses off, then they would be morons. However, just because they are acting in a way which is suggested by another party, it does not necessarily prove that they indeed trusts such a party.
        E.G. I don’t believe that salt will help with the radiation absorption at all therefore I do not stock up on salt. The next day the government declares “Do not buy salt because it does not help with radiation and we would not be short of salt”, so does that make me a moron for trusting the government?

  • justmega

    What morons. One would have to eat ungodly sums of salt to get any thyroid protection. Do that and you die.

    Yes, cockroaches of the PRC. Please eat bags of salt. You do not want to die of radiation exposure.

  • http://www.lovelovechina.com Crystal

    I think its easier to get iodine from sea water.
    Maybe can even drink sea water for protection… although due to high content of magnesium, you might have severe diarrhea :-)

  • fouManChu

    Attempting to use common sense or scientific evidence in trying to abate this kind of mass psychosis always backfires. Look at the birthers, truthers etc in the US. The more you try the more they become convinced and inflexible in their mindset. The best strategy is reverse psychology- give them a f$ck-ton of salt. Have CCP cadres sell bags at every street corner (salt is cheap). Tell the people it is good for them, the crowds will disperse.

    • CHNinUSA

      I like this idea!

    • Muay Thai guy

      good idea, proactive social darwinism ;-)
      free salt for everyone, whoever eats it up probably shouldn’t live anyway right?

    • Joe

      Yeah, but truthers are actually right.

    • Ray

      This could actually work, but I don’t think the sellers would want to give up the opportunity to spike their prices.

    • bobiscool

      only idiots want to kill of other idiots.

      The smart people take advantage of idiots and make the idiots work for them.

  • FYIADragoon

    The Chinese commentators hit it pretty well. Bunch of uneducated, uncivilized retards. herpaderp a spoon of salt is going to stop radiation.

  • http://www.killerjo.net MAOCUNT

    I heard that there is a internet rumor circulating in PRC that eating feces could save one from radiation, I wonder when will people start eating/selling feces.

  • k

    Would it kill them to go without salt for a bit? I mean it’s not like it’s that healthy for you and you only need a little bit of it…..They don’t have to trample each other like herding animals to a hay stack…..disgusting….

  • fabi

    this is really sad :(
    i cant help but to pitty them

  • mlgb

    I still haven’t used all the salt I bought during the SARS incident!

    Haha, best comment of the lot. The more things change…

  • Jess

    So it might not be safe to go China, if the radiation leaks further? Is China that close to Japan? I’m suppose to go on holiday next month! :(

    • http://www.killerjo.net MAOCUNT

      @Jess
      It’s safe. For the time being, the leak is limited to a small part of the northern Kanto area (northern Honshu). Generally, the Japanese are very calm about it. (look up http://www.japanprobe.com)

      The hysteria is also only limited to PRC atm. After a few generations of mindfucking education by the ruling CCP (and the fact that the gov from top to bottom had very little credibility), a good number of PRC citizens became very susceptible to stupid gossips/rumors.

      although PRC are not well known for safe streets, but I honestly doubt the radiation had any effect on time yet, at least for the time being.

      On a misc note, you may want to consider bringing some boxes of salt there and sell them for Jacked up prices. I am sure there will be people who will buy them if you can outsmarted the Chinese police (which is not necessary difficult).

      • Sunshine

        I thought all the Chinese people are wanting refunds on their salt purchases, now that the government has cleared the misconceptions?
        So she probably wouldn’t be able to make any profit at all.

  • diverdude

    well, maybe we can get them to start putting SALT on the Popcorn instead of fkn Sugar !

    • http://www.ethansenglishcafe.com Ethan

      Don’t even tease about that… christ what I wouldn’t give for buttery, salty popcorn at the theater…

      • Rick in China

        Auchan and other similar supermarkets sell a variety of microwave popcorn, as close as you’re goin to find here me thinks.

  • Holly

    Um…if people carry on like this it’s 28495592310 times more likely you’re gonna die from salt poisoning rather than radiation….

  • B

    Hahahaha, the Chinese are even more stupid than Americans! I didn’t think that was possible, but now I think otherwise…

    • bert

      You seem to be the only one realizing this now. Most people realized this years ago. In fact most people never compared to two nations, except of course Chinese. China always gets the gold medal in stupidity.

      • http://www.killerjo.net MAOCUNT

        To be fair, people and government from a lot of country are dumber than Chinese’s. The only problem is PRC is the one of the few (if not only) internationally recognized world power that actually do all this stupid shit and try to enforce their stupidity over others.

        • staylost

          Fair point. Though in this situation it is pretty funny.

          Chinese rush to buy salt, scared of radiation.
          American’s rush to buy pills, scared of radiation.
          Canadian’s rush to buy umbrellas, scared of radiation.

          Japanese calmly soldier on, the only ones actually in danger of radiation.

          • Rick in China

            Said the obviously superior nuclear physicist.

            The NRC announced clearly that the radiation *could* reach America (and thus Canada), but *recently* that they don’t believe harmful levels *will* reach America. They are monitoring the situation, and *if* radiation levels increase, one of the suggestions includes taking KI pills. Is it ignorant to lower risk by a suggested countermeasure, or is it ignorant to laugh at people who do because you’re presuming to know something you obviously don’t?

          • Hoboken

            Damn, you are so biased, it’s hilarious. Americans/Canadians buying stuff out of fear of radiation are CLEARLY the bigger idiots, as they are 10 times farther away.

            But in your infantile mind, everything “your people” do is perfectly justified, everything “others” do is wrong.

          • Rick in China

            You’re an idiot. If Chinese people in the NE were buying KI pills, I don’t think anyone would really care. We’re not talking about buying a valid countermeasure to a potential threat. We’re talking about buying an invalid countermeasure for a potential threat. Not just buying, but FIGHTING over it, waiting in lines forever, and buying it en masse without any realization at the significant and immediate health risks they’d expose themselves to if they ate that much fucking salt. Get it? It’s not racist, dumbass, it’s logic.

          • Hoboken

            You’re an idiot. The North Americans are 6,000 miles away. There is absolulely no reason to justify their idiotic panic-mode buying of “countermeasures”. The real reason you justify it is bias, nimrod. Just like absolutely every view you have on Chinese and Westerners. WESTERNERS = PERFECT, BRILLIANT PEOPLE. CHINESE = HORRIBLE IDIOTS. That sums up your entire worldview. Absolutely everything you have ever said fits neatly into that infantile perspective.

          • Rick in China

            Again, son, the NRC announced it’s possible but unlikely for radiation to arrive on the shores.

            That means my worldview is that foreigners are perfect and chinese are all horrible idiots? You don’t know shit about my world view, not to mention my “world view” is hardly limited to my posts on *ChinaSmack*.

            Keep yappin’, it’s only proving my first point – you’re an idiot.

    • Kong

      Ha. Am I the only one who remembers after 9/11, when the Bush administration told everyone to buy duct tape to seal their doors in case of a chemical attack?

      That is far more stupid than buying salt.

      • Ron

        Yes, you are the only one. I don’t recall that at all!

      • Rick in China

        I’ve not heard of more than a handful of people claiming Bush was even moderately intelligent, and the ones that have only seemed to do it because they had to maintain a particular relationship with him. He fell off a segway, choked on a pretzel, can’t pronounce ‘nukelar’ or many, many other words, and routinely made absolutely inane comments in public. That doesn’t make it any less ridiculous to have hordes of people battling over salt to prevent radiation sickness.

  • Nereis

    The only way radiation could hurt you is if your DNA is exposed to the source. Sea salt being sodium chloride, well it can’t really hurt or protect you in any way shape or form. What can I say, people buy into the bull rush without any critical thinking.

  • http://www.facebook.com Kedafu

    Song of the Article

    Push it
    -Salt-N-Pepa

    • KT

      Nah
      Salt of the Earth – Rolling Stones

  • stubear

    In some places now people are taking the salt they bought back to the shops for a refund. Admitting that they were stupid :)

  • http://laowaiink.weebly.com Mark

    I imagine a lot of these people are hoarding in hopes of selling it at a profit later. The same thing has happened in recent years with garlic, soybeans, even houses. People buy up all they can in a mad scramble, then when prices get truly stratospheric, they sell it and go home smiling. The thing about this is that it’s going to be old news so fast, there are going to be millions of people with storage rooms full of ultra-cheap salt.

    • Kong

      Apparently, a lot of Chinese have been returning the salt to the stores. I can’t imagine seeing that in the US. Of course… there are refunding issues there.

  • diverdude

    Song of the Article (alternative)

    Number One Blind
    Veruca Salt

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  • ##BlothaLonely##

    ouch.. xian de dan tong

  • Kong

    Apparently, a lot of Chinese have been returning the salt to the stores. I can’t imagine seeing that in the US. Of course… there are refunding issues there.

  • John Wayne

    What cities in China are doing this???

  • Foreign Devil

    Is it just a coincidence that last week I got a text message from my Chinese friend in Toronto warning me to make sure I have an umbrella if it rains, in order to protective myself from radioactive rainfall? And I’m not even on the west coast. We are in Central Canada! Would be interesting to know if thre was a big sell out on umbrellas in China too, since that rumor no doubt started in China.

  • guizi

    Umm, Here in Tokyo, the next day of the earthquake, flesh meat and fish disappeared first. People in supermarket said that they could not get enough supplies due to the bad transportation. But there were plenty of rice and others. Gradually, other things disappeared too, such as rice, milk, instant noodles. Then, there was a news of blackout, so batteries and most instant foods disappeared. I went to a supermarket yesterday, and there was no rice and toiletpapers. but for unknown reason there was much meat and fish.

    • CHNisUSA

      Wish the best for your countrymen! you mentioned about the lack of food, may I ask a question that confused me since the earthquake happened?

      In the Sichuan earthquake, since the basic necessities are running out as you mention that in Japan now as well, there were many volunteers from all over the country to carry food/water/clothes to the disaster areas to distribute to people in need. Like in Chengdu where I lived then, volunteers collected donation on the street and then purchased food at the noon of everyday and took them to the disaster town, they played video to show how they distribute to make you believe them(People didn’t believe in gov so they were less willing to donate to red-cross in China).
      But I didn’t read any news in major press about volunteers in Japan this time. I originally thought the west Japanese will go to help their fellows in the east. So it makes me wonder why. Is it because as you say transportation totally malfunctioned? Or is it because those things are lacked in all over Japan now even the westside? Or people don’t do that in Japan for they believe in government and professional agency to do that instead of volunteers?

      • guizi

        > In the Sichuan earthquake, many volunteers from all over the country to carry food/water/clothes to the disaster areas to distribute to people in need.

        That is great. I remember that at that time Chinese people were like competing to help people in disaster area.

        > I originally thought the west Japanese will go to help their fellows in the east.

        It seems that one company sent trucks with daily necessities, and one rich guy did the same. But I did not hear about them afterward.

        > Is it because as you say transportation totally malfunctioned?

        Some tsunami hit areas are remote seaside town which is difficult to access in the first place. And highways and main roads in Tohoku region were damaged too. So I think getting there was difficult. I spent my university days in Sendai and went some of tsunami hit areas. The roads are narrow and on the seaside. I think ordinary people should not go there by their car right now.

        On the other hand, southern area from Sendai is large plain, so not so difficult to access. I think volunteers can go there.

        > Or people don’t do that in Japan for they believe in government and professional agency to do that instead of volunteers?

        My speculation is that volunteers are not so welcomed in disaster hit area in Japan.

        In 1995 when there was Kobe earthquake, volunteers went there. As Kobe is near to Osaka, lots of Osaka people brought necessities. At that time reports were mostly good ones, but I think this is because it was difficult to criticize them as they were there for good deeds. But there were many reports of car congestion. Fire engines, ambulances, and SDF vehicles were stuck in them.

        Then several years ago, there was an earthquake in Niigata. And volunteers went there too. But there were many not-so-good reports about them, like they were not so helpful, some just went there to see, there were not enough foods and beds for volunteers, and local people don’t like unknown people roaming. And there were reports that robbers went there too in disguise of volunteers and got arrested. I also saw a report that street people went there to get foods and shelters.

        I speculate that media and government people now don’t want to attract ordinary people to disaster area. But I remember seeing two TV news reports inviting volunteers.

        One is from Sendai. They said that volunteers will work mostly for cleaning debris, cleaning houses, delivering goods in shelters. And volunteers should have their own means to go there and come back.

        The other is in Chiba which is near Tokyo, but still got hit by tsunami. They said that volunteers will work daytime and go back to their home at night. And they should go there by their own.

        Also about sending goods. Most Japanese think that sending daily things especially clothes are not good. After Kobe earthquake, lots of things were sent to Kobe, but most cloths were later discarded and other things too. Lots of man power and space were used for the boxes and to see the contents of them. Sending foods is good, but I think most Japanese think the government does that jobs first, so ordinary people should give money. This is my impression.

        • CHNinUSA

          Thank you for your answer! That really solves the puzzle I have. I agree with you that volunteers can create some mess in disaster area, I just remember in Sichuan earthquake besides volunteers went to distribute food, there were also many people just to go to see what the heavy hit area looked like, as they visiting a theme park.
          Donation can help once the government does their job well to purchase necessities to people in need, and I believe Japan government has the ability. Best wish to all people in Japan!

    • CHNinUSA

      Wish the best for your countrymen! you mentioned about the lack of food, may I ask a question that confused me since the earthquake happened?

      In the Sichuan earthquake, since the basic necessities ran out quickly just like what you mention that in Japan now, there were many volunteers from all over the country to carry food/water/clothes to the disaster areas to distribute to people in need. Like in Chengdu where I lived then, volunteers collected donation on the street and then purchased food at the noon of everyday and took them to the disaster town, they played video to show how they distribute to make you believe them(People didn’t believe in gov so they were less willing to donate to red-cross in China).
      But I didn’t read any news in major press about volunteers in Japan this time. I originally thought the west Japanese will go to help their fellows in the east. So it makes me wonder why. Is it because as you say transportation totally malfunctioned? Or is it because those things are lacked in all over Japan now even the westside? Or people don’t do that in Japan for they believe in government and professional agency to do that instead of volunteers?

      • CHNinUSA

        Sorry for the repeated reply since I didn’t see the first one come out
        Can stubear or Fauna help to delete it? thank you very much!

    • guizi

      In my previous post, I wrote that there were lots of meat and fish for unknown reason, but I got info about it.

      As there is blackout, frozen meat and fish were out to market to avoid being melt and rotten.

  • Muay Thai guy

    And I thought this is only in really(!) provincial areas, but I was wrong. Here in Guangzhou downtown in my area(only expensive housing around) the salt is sold out too.. but you know what they say; in China there are peasants without money – and peasants with money.

  • guizi

    I have one very good idea to stop Chinese people to buy salt.
    Just say, iodine in salt may come from japan, and they might just stop.

    You might be surprised, but Iodine is abundant in Japan and exported to other countries. I dont know where the iodine in chinese salt come from. Maybe chinese produce or japanese import. Anyway I read a news article that iodine intake is not enough in inland China, so iodine is added in salt on purpose. So there is a possibility that iodine is from japan.

  • Hongjian

    You fuckers never were in a third world country before?
    Why are you astonished about this? People here in China regularily shit and spit on the streets, brawl and scream in fights over nothing, and generally act like a bunch of lowly niggers and savages, ie. the typical behavior of people in developing countries, who still are too poor to afford ‘civilization’ and ‘classy behavior’. This fucking shit is nothing new and I experienced it in India, Afghanistan, Phillipines and Vietnam some hundred-thousand times before.

    The rush to buy salt due to rumourmongering and hysteria is just the weakest and most harmless of all things we third-worlders are doing to gain advantage over others in the everyday darwinist struggle for life.
    There’s still a long way for China to go economically and culturally, to not only lift all people out of poverty, but also to lift them out of being niggers.

    At least Chinese dont like watermelon and chicken like the nig… Oh wait.

    • PeterScriabin

      Dear HongJian – I hope you will not mind me saying:

      It has been fascinating to watch your posts slowly morph from the hysterical-warmonger king-of-the-fenqing to something much cuddlier and more humorous.

      German orderliness has somehow diluted the youthful vitriol, and you now sound more like an Archie Bunker who read Nietzsche.

      I have to guess that you are in love, or at least getting laid regularly now?

    • china doll

      every word is pure truth.chinese are like that, very sorry for tham, but they are just useless

  • dude

    It’s so absurd. If there really is a risk of a very high order of stray radiation, as one would think there is given the response of these chinese people stockpiling salt, no amount of salt, medicine or ancestral blessing can protect you.

    • china doll

      thats just chinese…got nothing to do, go to stay in lines for a while,.,

  • Jeff

    The last comment made no sense regarding Japan’s nuclear power and blaming them for the disaster. I would question that person’s country of origin and quickly find a nuclear power plant close to their home. The change to wind, thermal and solar energy is slow to develop, the supply would not meet the demand and would take an entire country to change including homes willing to put up the costs to get off the power grid. I would ask that person if they had made the changes to their home that would end nuclear power

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  • Ron

    Next crisis: diabetes!

    • Anon

      I wonder how many deaths will be attributed to excessive salt consumption?

      Dimwittted, uneducated, morally slanted idiots.

  • Scytheria

    Somebody help me understand this one – were they actually planning to eat the salt? The thought of some miserable family sat sucking on 25kg bags of salt makes me chuckle.

    • CHNinUSA

      believe me, Chinese seldom eat so much salt as American, they may stock salt like crazy as you see, but if you have eaten any potato chips in both countries you will know what I mean.

  • dilladonuts
  • china doll

    character of Chinese people is lower than low. well said~

  • Alex

    “Truly embarrassing. Japan has an earthquake and everyone is still able to live in an orderly way, yet in China people are in life and death fights for salt. We can see that the character of Chinese people is lower than low.”

    PAM!!! Right in the face.

  • Lee

    OH MY GOD>…… The Mainland Chinese are god to the REST. What an embarrassment with their stupid believe. It gonna make every chinese around the world look like a low IQ . They fighting over for bags of salt fearing that they will be next. Chinese people are so selfish and has always been for the thousand of years…. That why the world always think negatively about them……. I’m ashame to belong to this blood race….

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