It's Now Illegal To Binge-Eat And Watch Binge-Eating Videos In China

This is thanks to the new anti-food waste law passed in China.

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China has passed a new anti-food waste law that bans diners in restaurants from ordering more meals than required. This law also prohibits the citizens of China from sharing binge-eating videos. This means that the trendy Mukbang videos are no longer allowed to be shared.

The law, which came into effect last week, was part of China's nationwide anti-food waste campaign that started last year when Chinese President Xi Jinping called China's food wastage situation a "distressing" problem that threatened China's food security.

Photo by Zoe del Rosario

Since the passing of the law, restaurants have started to adjust their menus in accordance with the law. According to VICE News, culinary groups have introduced "N-1" meals where the number of dishes should be less than the number of guests, restaurants have pledged to offer food in smaller proportions, and there's a restaurant in Changsha that has a weighing scale at the entrance and they will offer the customer food recommendations based on their weight.

The Censors have removed popular binge-eating videos from social media site Douyin, the TikTok in China. The government has also suspended a Chinese idol competition that asks its fans to buy milk products as "currency" so they can vote for their favorite contestant/s in the competition.

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Photo by Kanghee Han from Pixabay

The government has also suspended a popular boy group contest that has asked its viewers to buy milk products to support their favorite contestants. Some of the drinks bought for the contest were reportedly poured down the drain. About 35 million tons of food goes to waste in China every year, according to local media

What's the penalty? The law says that restaurants will be given warnings, but if they refuse to make corrections, they could face a fine of not less than 1,000 yuan (or P7,469) but not more than 10,000 yuan (or P74,690). Food producers and operators that cause serious food waste in the process of food production and operation will be fined not less than 5,000 yuan but not more than 50,000 yuan.

Photo by Bianca Laxamana

The same goes for television stations and online audio and video service providers. If they were given warnings and did not make the necessary corrections, they could face a fine of up to 10,000 yuan (P7,469) - 100,000 yuan (P746,905) if they continue to broadcast videos showing binge-eating. The law also says that they can be "ordered to suspend related business, suspend businesses for rectifications,  and be directly responsible for the person in charge and other direct responsibilities."

As for individuals who do not abide by the anti-food waste law, the law is still unclear about that. It does not indicate how they will monitor individual ordering and the fine that an individual needs to pay if they are caught violating it.

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