Thursday, June 21, 2007

The China problem escalates

I feel another burst of China-bashing coming on.
It has been building up for a week along with the reports of China providing the world with toys covered in lead-laced paint. Toxic Thomas the Tank Engine? This could be seen to imply a whole generation of brain-damaged boys.

For someone who has always loved the Chinese people, this growing saga of perfidy from China is as heartbreaking as it is enraging.

What are they thinking? Is it greed or expediency that has an era of Chinese companies sending poisons to the world?
It certainly is not stupidity. The Chinese are not stupid. Therefor it is the most wicked and duplicitous greed which is rampant in modern China - industries all over the country substituting cheap toxins for the proper ingredients in the goods they purport to manufacture.
Shame, China, shame!!

This phenomenon is out of control. It is ongoing, consciously masked by hierarchies of of Chinese businessmen as they pocket the profits.
The New York Times reported vividly on the obfuscations placed in front of the US Food & Drug Administration as it sought to find the source of the diethylene glycol which has been poisoning children in fever medicines - killing children, for heaven's sake!
The Chinese subsituted antifreeze for glycerine.

I have written about this before, of course.
I reiterate because of the new crisis with lead paints on children's toys. Yes, again the victims are children.
Thomas the Tank Engine has been painted lead red. Millions of Thomas the Tank Engines!! Toys children often put into their mouths. Everyone has known for decades that paint with lead content is ferociously dangerous to children. Don't tell me the Chinese never caught up on the news.

Of course the Western passion for economic rationalism bears responsibility here, too - and the West should not be off the hook just because China has been the culprit.

Bottom line is that it is all about outsourcing.
Everything is made in China these days - cheap products made, supposedly, to the specifications of the ordering companies.
Cheap goods from China are the secret to much wealth among Western companies, just as they are creating new wealth for Chinese companies.

It could be a comfortable arrangement but the Chinese are cheating. They are in a hurry to catch up with Western affluence and any short-cut will do.

Who knows what other short-cuts are being taken?
These crimes may be just the tip of an iceberg of manufacturing corruption.
Already, with the Chinese melamine which has been used in lethal animal food and the diethylene glycol used cough medicines and toothpaste are all over the world as bulk chemicals ready to be used for who knows what!

The Chinese have created a consumer mine field in the West and we must all now beware. We must see the words "Made in China" as an alarm, a danger signal. For our own wellbeing, we must not buy Chinese goods. And we must keep on and on and on making a fuss until we can force our own corporations to cancel orders and stand up for the West.
Even if it means we have to pay more for things.


ashleigh said...


Here is another one I heard of in my field of business (couple of years ago though).

Manufacturers of electrical wire put insulation on it, and around the world it is required that the (plastic) insulation has a flame retardand added - so that the plastic is self-extinguishing if the source of ignition is removed.

In Australia, in particular, all electrical equipment has to be TESTED by poking a very hot wire into it - the item can burn when the hot wire is tere but the fire must go out when the hot wire is removed.

So, anyhow, some company was buying electrical wire made in China. Had it tested, all ok. AFTER the shipments had been coming for a while the Chinese business folks responsible decided to make a few extra yuan for themselves by removing the flame retardant.

They were found out - eventually - but the results were (so I'm told) pretty amazing. Put a match to their electrical wire and "whoomph
- huge big fire.


There are many other examples. Theft of intellectual property is rampant - if you are a manufacturer who goes to China to get stuff done cheap, be very very careful. Just be prepared to see a 100% identical product appear soon. Probably even made in the same factory.

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