Sunday, August 19, 2007

Question Of The Week, 8/19/07

Good morning. I'm sure I'm not the only one that is concerned about the number of Chinese made products that have recently been recalled. If you need a refresher I just read an 8/17/08 e-mail. Check it out.

By Charles R. Smith

The China problem just got a bit bigger. Chinese products entering the U.S. have come under fire and massive recalls due to poison. The products ranging from toys to toothpaste have been discovered to be toxic and dangerous.

Mattel, the largest U.S. maker of toys, has recalled over 18 million Chinese-made toys that contain magnets that can be swallowed by children or could be colored with lead paint. The recalls includes 7.3 million play sets, Polly Pocket dolls, Batman action figures, and 253,000 Sarge brand cars, because the surface paint could contain lead.

Also recalled were 683,000 Barbie and Tanner play sets and 1 million Doggie Day Care play sets.
In addition to the new U.S. recall, which totals over 9 million toys, other Mattel toys sent around the world have also been recalled. An additional 183,000 Sarge brand cars from the Pixar movie “Cars” were recalled with 49,000 of the affected vehicles located in the UK and Ireland.

Other Mattel toys recalled contain small, powerful magnets that can come loose and are a potential swallowing hazard to young children. According to Mattel, if more than one magnet is swallowed, the magnets can attract each other and cause intestinal perforation or blockage, which can be fatal.
There had been 400 reports of magnets coming loose since Mattel recalled 2.4 million magnetic play sets in November 2006. According to the reports, at least three children required surgery after swallowing more than one magnet.

The new recall comes within days of Mattel’s Fisher-Price division worldwide recall of 1.5 million Chinese-made preschool toys featuring characters such as Dora the Explorer, Big Bird and Elmo. According to Mattel, 967,000 of those toys were sold in the United States between May and August.
Mattel officials maintained that a European retailer discovered the lead in some of the lead-covered Fisher-Price products in early July. On July 6, the company halted operations at the factory in China that produced the toys and launched an investigation.

Days after the Fisher-Price recall, Chinese officials temporarily banned the toys’ manufacturer, Lee Der Industrial Co., from exporting products. According to Chinese official reports, Lee Der co-owner, Cheung Shu-hung, committed suicide at a warehouse apparently by hanging himself after the ban.

The cause of Cheung’s suicide was reportedly due to the disgrace of the recall. However, no official statement has been made available and Cheung’s company is under investigation.

In June, toy maker RC2 Corp. voluntarily recalled 1.5 million wooden railroad toys and set parts from its Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway product line. The company said that the surface paint on certain toys and parts made in China also contained lead.

The toy recall is compounded by another dangerous Chinese import - poison toothpaste. Indianapolis based Gilchrist & Soames released a statement that it was recalling toothpaste made in China after discovering the product contained a chemical used to make automobile antifreeze. The toothpaste was distributed to hotels in more than a dozen countries.

Independent tests showed some samples of the Chinese toothpaste contained diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical that could cause kidney and liver failure.

The recall involves 0.65-ounce tubes of toothpaste made in China by Ming Fai Enterprises International Co. Ltd. The toothpaste was distributed under the Gilchrist & Soames name to hotels in Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, Turks & Caicos, the United Arab Emirates, Britain and the United States.

Gilchrist & Soames officials would not release the names of hotels affected by the recall and could not say how many of the small tubes of toothpaste were involved.

The toothpaste recall comes after Chinese toothpaste products were pulled off the shelves around the U.S. and all over the globe. The FDA has put out a notice to consumers covering the exact brands that are tainted. In addition to the U.S., several Latin American nations, including Panama have banned or forced the removal of toothpaste containing dangerous chemicals.

The FDA has posted a list of toothpastes found to contain diethylene glycol.

U.S. and Latin American consumers are not the only ones suffering from poisoned goods. A chemical plant leaked arsenic into a river in southern China that supplies water to at least 20,000 people.
The toxic waste has poisoned and killed nearly 90,000 pounds of fish and threatened the lives of thousands of Chinese citizens as well as fish exports from the region. Chinese government officials went door to door in Chongan town, Guizhou province, to warn villagers not to eat, sell or transport the fish.

Dead fish were found floating on 3 mile stretch of the river. According to Chinese official statements, it will take at least four to five days to clear them away.

The recent news from China is of grave concern. The numbers of tainted or dangerous products are piling up to the point where the issue is entering the presidential race. The real question should be how many of these products have entered our bodies?

The oldest axiom - “Buyer Beware” applies here. The issue should be part of a consumer race to protect our children and ourselves from poison products made on the cheap by eager communists who will sell anything to make a buck. They are teamed with eager capitalists in the west who sought the cheap labor and low standards that we now find can kill.

The “Made In China” label has drawn lots of buyers seeking a bargain. Beware of bargains that seem too good to be true. Just how much do you save when your safety is not a concern?

Outraged? In the Comment Section to a recent post of mine Always On Watch mentions a boycott. This weeks Question Of The Week is. Would the majority of today's shoppers be willing to give up their cheap "Made In China" products for safety sake?

I'll post my answer in the Comment Section Monday night.

Thanks go to:

Soft War

Always On Watch

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.


Blogger American Interests said...

For safety sake they might, but it would be a massive wake up call. Todays retail market is loaded with super cheap China products and I don't know how shoppers would cope with higher prices for goods made in other parts of the world. In Australia stores like K-Mart and Target are all the rage. It's amazing what one can but for $100 today. I bet its much the same in the States, expecially with Wal-Mart. Consumers (and our economies) rely on Chinese products as our own manufacturing industries have all shipped overseas. This safety thihg is another matter however and may at least cause a change in sentiments. Great Post !!

4:33 PM  
Blogger Katherine Thayer said...

Products made in China is more affordable however the quality is too low. Buy products made in USA. Look out

11:11 PM  

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