It is important to note that there are unregulated meat markets around the globe, on every continent, which trade in live animals and wild animals. A case could be made for stronger regulations for all of them, but they may be very difficult to enforce.
Food-borne disease is a constant threat, even in the most advanced countries with significant regulations, as annual recalls for lettuce, ice cream, milk, ground beef, etc. in the US alone can demonstrate.
I am sorry, I was very unclear - my post was actually addressed to the scientist whose theory you were writing about, not to you as the author.
However, reading your response, I am just as upset with your answer as I was with him.
First off, "unregulated meat markets around the globe, on every continent" ? Is pretty much a red herring, isn't it? Are you trying to claim, because some other places are doing something very unsafe, China should also be allowed to do something very unsafe? No, of course you would never say that, because it sounds very silly when I put it that way, doesn't it? In fact, with 1/6 the world's population, China is actually in a position to do more than any other country, isn't it? Unless you disagree with that statement,, let's stick with that instead of "China should not have to do anything, since other places will still allow global health hazards", shall we? By the way, I think it also "important to note" that China may have far, far more than 1/6th the trade in wild animals and by far the most trade for any country of equivalent wealth. If you do not dispute those statements, let's "note" them as well.
Now, let's talk about your admission that " a case could be made for stronger regulations for all of them:" - WRONG !!! Or at least misleading - not case needs be made at all - because EVERY virologist in the world believes those markets are likely sources of this pandemic, of SARS, of Ebola, probably a few others - saying " a case could be made '" is deceptive and mealy mouthed - the case HAS been made, more than once now. Not a theoretical case based on theories of viral transmission, but the biggest pandemic in 100 years and biggest economic calamity since either WW2 or the Great Depression.
The only valid point was the claim the markets might go underground - which, while certainly possible, is again a red herring - maybe you could argue a regulated trade, where dangerous species were closely monitored, would be safer than a flat out ban and purely black market trade - doubtful, as we do not know what we are looking for until people get sick, because these virae are NOVEL. The way you make the meat safe is by cooking it - in other words, no LIVE animal markets.
You end your reply with a completely irrelevant statement, not worthy of any science writer, or just anyone with any science degree - about "food borne illness" - surely you recognize we are not discussing "food borne illness" and I can not believe you said that in good faith, it seems like an attempt to confuse weak minded people with irrelevancies., If bad lettuce, ice cream, milk, and ground beef in the US was going to kill people in the rest of the world, then we need to stop producing or selling it ASAP - and we ought to be subjected to international pressure, in the form of a trade embargo, to force us to do that.
But those things have NOTHING WHATEVER, NOTHING WHATEVER, to do with the Wuhan pandemic, and you must know that. Wuhan virus is not a 'food borne illness", if it was no one not eating bats would care about it.