From the Guys Who Brought You Melamine In Milk, Toxic Toys, Poison Pet Food...
The Chinese have peddled numerous toxic products to international consumers, including everything from baby’s milk, children’s toys, adult vitamins, pet food...and the list goes on to include electrical products that shock and kill, toxic wallboards and just about anything that would guarantee a shortened lifespan or a decrepit existence for the rest of your life. Even without considering their bullying defenceless nations this is enough reason for boycotting “made in China” products.
High end and technology products made affordable but...
While China products have brought satisfaction to many by making products that were normally affordable only by the more affluent, it carries with it a sordid trade off. The Chinese, in their typical instinctive drive towards entrepeneurship, rushed off to take advantage of the demand created by the invariably low price of almost any product imaginable and/or easily copied that their plants churned out. On top of having the cheap labour advantage, the Chinese manufacturers got carried away by their desire to improve the profitability of their merchandise and resorted to doing short cuts in their production processes, sought cheaper ingredients without thought of product safety and an utter disregard to quality control procedures that ensure the efficacy, the durability and safety of products that come out of their production floors. In a lot of instances the cheap copies of technological products turn out to be unusable, easily broken and even a hazard to life and property.
Even big joint ventures have been negligent
One would think that this is be limited to the small unregulated and unsupervised small to medium sized manufacturers; but no, even with the plants that have joint venture agreements with prestigious and trusted companies from the US, France, UK and other countries these have happened. Big western companies who are known for their above board compliance with good business practice have been negligent. Despite the stringent supervision of their home office experts their Chinese counterparts have abetted the substitution and the shortcuts to improve profitability. The horror stories on the use of toxic ingredients in the farming of food products, lead content in paints used in toys, the irresponsible production of processed foods, the toxicity and the inefficacy of medical products have been many and have had disastrous results from their usage by consumers.
Unwanted products make their way to the market
Despite our government agencies’ efforts to check the entry of unwanted products a lot of these, even after rejection find their way in because unscrupulous businessmen in cahoots with some corrupt government officials keep on trying to sneak them in. The accounts of the smuggling activities of illicit China made products have been daily fare of newspapers. There are no guarantees that products that pass through government inspectors are safe to use or eat. The Chinese products on display in supermarket shelves and department stores should be regarded with utmost caution.
China’s chequered manufacturing history
The quality of Chinese products are considered in much the same way that “made in Japan” products immediately after the second world war were regarded, the same stigma had been attached to “made in Taiwan” products in the sixties; products that had the reputation of being cheap, unreliable and as substitute items that fulfil expedient needs. The major difference between the Japanese and Taiwanese phases as compared to that of China’s is that both former countries were borne out of difficult situations, Japan from the ravages of war and Taiwan over a long period of deprivation resulting from the lack of natural resources being a small “renegade nation” that was stymied by the constant takeover threat by China. The China at present is not saddled by pressing economic problems; it is at the pinnacle of commercial success and therefore one could surmise that the Chinese do it out of unconscionable greed.
Apart from these negatives is the fact that these products may be hazardous to health as proven by documented accounts of deaths arising from toxicity from a wide range of products either ingested or through inadvertent exposure. Deaths by the hundreds were experienced in Panama for substandard medicines bought from China; toxic melamine in milk that killed babies hugged the international headlines for a while, a number of horror stories, although not making a big splash in the news (perhaps censored by the Chinese media authorities), have actually happened and had disastrous consequences. Of serious concern are products that are ingested or taken into the body by way of consumption or by other means that introduce them internally. The effects of internally taken products are almost immediately harmful and are more prone to complications vital internal organs. Food and medicinal products coming from China should be held suspect.
Our laws do not deter bad products influx to the market
China is on a roll. The euphoria of continuous money flowing from their enterprises have emboldened them even more; they have not corrected their quick money mind sets despite the numerous lawsuits against the manufacturers, importers and distributors of their defective merchandise. It seems that our laws do not really stop the entry of these illicit products. Our law enforcement track record has been spotty, businessmen continue to defy regulations because the big money that is made in these transactions is commensurate to the risks involved. Even to this date law suits continue to be filed in the US, here at home and numerous other countries who source from unscrupulous manufacturers and importers of China goods and like any other legal complaint they become another layer in the burgeoning stack of pending law suits destined to rot in a huge dustbin of unattended cases. Existence of China made products in large, supposedly law abiding supermarkets is no assurance of their goodness.
China’s preposterous sovereignty claims and bully tactics
China has claims with the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan across the South China Sea, key shipping lanes thought to contain rich energy reserves. Vietnam and the Philippines have been the most vocal opponents of China's claims. Energy reserves replenishment is important to China to ensure that their growth engine continue to hum. The oil reserves underneath the South China Sea are coveted by so many nations and the hungry dragon is determined to take all by force rather than talk about co operational development of the natural resources in the areas of dispute. They have begun to impose their might by intimidating through sabre rattling the Philippines and Vietnam ostensibly displaying their naval prowess against the puny naval capabilities of the two small nations. An attendant pressure is the tightening of economic thumbscrews as recently experienced by our exports to China and the holding back of necessary imports for use of our local industries.
The threat, of course, does not spare other nations. China’s ever extending claims to territory that are in the path of the creeping yellow tide are fair game. No nation is safe from a marauding super power that imposes and claims sovereignty on the most preposterous of bases; an ancient map illustrating the extent of the Han dynasty kingdom, the nine dash map that tries to legitimize sovereignty claims no matter the distance from mainland China and the disregard of the United Nations International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea and other agreements which would hamstring their imperialist aspirations.
Additionally, no nations’ export endeavour is safe from being prey to Chinese currency manipulation, from dissipation of manufacturing capabilities engendered by China’s cheap labour and from the economic arm twisting that the bully undertakes.
What the boycott wants to achieve
The intention of the movement to boycott China made products is not designed to delimit China’s legitimate efforts towards their own nation building, every country has that right and the obligation to do so. It is the goal of the movement to make China aware that they belong to a community of civilized nations and as such they are required to respect the sovereignty of others; that as a recognized and responsible world leader, the fostering the well being of its neighbours by not flooding the international market with products that create contagion is just not done, and that their new found super power status should not be used to run over weaker countries in a manner reminiscent of the Nazi invasion of weaker nations along Germany’s periphery during WWII. Rather than meeting military aggression with an equally aggressive armed defensive response, the boycott of China products on a global scalewould be a peaceful but forceful way of persuading China to abandon its bullying ways.
Some documented defective China products in the US
Hereunder is a litany of products that have been found flawed compiled just a few years back by a US business group, it is by no means a complete list as it covers only the earlier years of China exports to the US, also, the list continue to mount and extend even as of now. The list is just a fraction of the actual length of documented complaints. Be aware of these products.
- Toxic clothing articles: Samarra Brothers recalled Chinese-manufactured children’s two-piece overall sets because the coatings on the snaps in the overalls and shirt contain excessive amounts of lead, posing a serious risk of lead poisoning and adverse health effects to young children.
- Hazardous small appliances: Family Dollar Stores recalled 35,000 oscillating ceramic heaters that were found to overheat and smoke, which could pose a fire hazard to consumers.
- Faulty electrical wirings: Holmes Group recalled about 300,000 Chinese-manufactured oscillating tower fans that were found to have bad wiring that creates a fire hazard.
- Dangerous Candles: Sally Foster recalled over 46,000 sets of imported Tea Lights candles after it was reported that the candles have a clear, plastic shell that can melt or ignite, posing a fire or burn hazard to consumers.
- Dryers that electrocute: Metropolis Beauty recalled about 18,000 Travel’N Baby Mini Hair Dryers, which were not equipped with an immersion protection plug to prevent electrocution if the hair dryer falls into water. Electric shock protection devices are required by industry standards for all electric hand-held hair dryers.
- Improperly Wired lamps: Hong Ten Trading recalled about 4,000 electric oil lamps that had power cords that were not correctly secured and had no strain relief on their switch housing. The switch housing was also not flame-retardant, which poses a fire hazard.
- Overheating DVD players: Best Buy recalled about 10,000 Insignia DVD Player remotes after it was found that improper battery placement in the remote could result in overheating and present a burn hazard.
- Lead Poisoning: 115,000 Claudia Jublot children’s rings, which were sold at Big Lots stores, were recalled because they contained dangerous levels of lead.
- Defective Lighting equipments: Currey & Company of Georgia recalled about 2,600 Chinese-manufactured lamps that had defective light sockets, which could pose electrical shock and fire hazards.
- Lead hazards: Kidsite jewellery sets, which were sold at Kmart stores across America, were recalled for containing high levels of lead.
- Toxic clothing articles: Samara Brothers recalled thousands of its outwear jackets for children because the snap closures on the jackets contained excessive amounts of lead, which poses a lead poisoning hazard.
- Lead hazards: Imported Chinese bracelets that were sold under the “Ultra Gear” brand were recalled because they contained high levels of lead.
- Dangerous battery operated toys: JAKKS Pacific recalled over 240,000 battery packs for toy vehicles after dozens of reports of the batteries melting or catching fire.
- Lead hazards: About 280,000 children’s Rachael Rose Kidz rings were recalled after they were found to contain high levels of lead.
- Defective Bike Frames: Target’s made-in-China Triax PK7 and Vertical PK7 bike frames were recalled after it was found that the frames could break rather easily, injuring anyone unlucky enough to be riding such a bike.
- Razor Blades For Kids: Tri Star International recently recalled a made-in-China children’s stationary, which contained a dangerous razor blade.
- Defective Extension Cords: Dollar Stop Plus recalled 15-foot extension cords that had undersized wiring, and failed to connect properly at the plug and receptacle ends. This poses fire, shock and electrocution hazards to consumers.
- Lead Easels: Discount School Supply recalled Elite about 2,500 5-in-1 Easels after finding that the chalkboard side of the Chinese-manufactured easels contained high levels of lead.
- Lead Necklaces: Children’s necklaces sold at Accessories Palace were recalled because they contained high levels of lead.
- Toxic toys: Toys R Us recalled over 128,000 Elite Operations toy sets because the paint used by the Chinese manufacturer of the toys contained high levels of lead.
- Lead Mood Necklace: About 47,000 children’s mood necklace imported from China by Rhode Island Novelty were recalled for containing high levels of lead.
- Badly wired Sconces: Home Decorators recalled about 900 Chinese-produced wall sconces, after finding that many were missing back plates, which exposes consumers to live wires and poses a risk of electrical shock to consumers changing the light bulb.
- Lead Paint On Baby Toys: Stuffed Fun Balls, which were sold at dollar stores and other discount stores from June 2006 until March 2007, were recalled because the paint used by the Chinese manufacturer of the baby toy contained dangerous levels of lead.
- Poison Pet Food: Two Chinese companies intentionally exported contaminated pet food ingredients to the United States, killing hundreds of American pets that ate the food.
- Hazardous candles: Aviv Judaica Imports recalled its Chanukah Oil Candles sets after it was found that they can become engulfed in flames and melt the plastic cups holding the candles in place, allowing hot wax to leak out, which poses fire and burn hazards to consumers.
- Oil Heater Fire Hazard: Holmes Group recalled about 300,000 of its oil-filled electric heaters after discovering that a poor electrical connection within the Chinese-manufactured heaters could overheat and cause fires.
- Overheating Boomboxes: Coby Electronics recalled over 13,000 USB/MP3/CD boomboxes due to electrical problems that could cause them to overheat and catch fire.
- Collapsing Baby Seats: Infant Bouncer Seats were recalled by Oeuf LLC after reports the seats’ metal frame breaking.
- Flammable Baby Clothes: Disney Stores recalled its Baby Einstein Caterpillar Sleepwear and Baby Einstein Duck Sleepwear because of a failure to meet the children’s flammability standard, posing a risk of burn injury to children.
- Hazardous Candles: McCormick Distilling Company recalled 60,000 Tequila Rose Strawberry Cream candle sets after finding that the martini glass containing the gel candle can break while the candle is burning, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers.
- Lead Bracelets: A&A Global Industries issued a recall for about 4 million of its Children’s Groovy Grabber Bracelets, which were painted with paint that contained high levels of lead.
- Lead Key Chains: Dollar General Merchandising recalled about 400,000 Chinese-manufactured Keychains because they contained high levels of lead.
- Faulty Palm Trees light: iObjectSolutions Inc. of Georgia’s Chinese-made Pre-lit Palm Trees was found to have electrical problems with its lighting system, which could cause fires or electric shocks.
- Unsafe Blades: Sears warned customers to remove the “Craftsman” logo label from their Chinese-made Craftsman Circular Saws; after it was found that the label could become partially detached, leading to exposure of the saw blade and injury to those operating the saw.
- Toxic Fish: It is believed that imported Chinese monkfish was actually deadly puffer fish, a labelling disaster that lead to the hospitalization of at least one person in America.
- Lead Hazards: Tween Brands Inc. of New York recalled a set of Chinese-manufactured metal jewellery for children that jewellery contained high levels of lead, which can cause adverse health effects and is toxic if ingested by young children.
- Toxic Drums: The Boyds Collection of Pennsylvania recalled its “Eli’s Small Drums and Liberty’s Large Drums” when it was found that the paint used by its Chinese manufacturer contained dangerous levels of lead.
- Children’s Rings: Cardinal Distributing Company of Maryland recalled its “Children’s Turquoise Rings” for containing dangerous levels of lead.
- More Lead Jewellery: Spandrel Sales and Marketing of Arizona recalled 200,000 children’s necklaces, bracelets and rings because they contained dangerous levels of lead.
- Collapsing Stools: Cracker Barrel Old Country Store recalled over 2,000 Chinese-manufactured kitchen stools, which had been found to unexpectedly collapse during use.
- Lead Bamboo: Anima Bamboo Collection Games, manufactured by HaPe International Ltd., of Ningbo, China, were recalled when the toys in game sets were found to contain lead paint.
- Fire Hazard Grills: Grills produced in China by Sagittarius Sporting Goods were recalled after many were found to be missing a hose that connects the grill manifold to its side burner, posing a risk of fires and burn injuries to customers.
- Toxic Fish: Oriental Trading Company of Nebraska recalled over 130,000 religious fish necklaces for children, which had been found to contain high levels of lead.
- Hazardous Candles: Vivre Royal was forced to recall a set of Chinese-produced candles when it came to light that their exterior coating and decorations were highly flammable.
- Kerosene Eyeballs: Gemmy Industries recalled several hundred plastic “Floating Eyeballs” because they contained kerosene, which if broken, presents a chemical hazard to children.
- Deadly Tires: Tire importer Foreign Tire Sales, based in Union, N.J., recalled as many as 450,000 tires after it was reported that the treads on light-truck radials manufactured by Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. in Hangzhou, China, were shoddily manufactured and could separate. Several traffic deaths have been blamed on such tires.
- Tainted Seafood: The FDA detained imports of three types of Chinese fish — catfish, basa and dace — as well as shrimp and eel after repeated testing turned up contamination with drugs unapproved in the United States for use in farmed seafood.
- Toxic Toys: American toy company RC2 was forced to recall a series of wooden toys based on the popular children’s show after it was revealed that they were painted with dangerously toxic paint.
- Lead Earrings: Accessories»Silver Stud Earring Sets, jewellery for kids that was sold in Kmart stores across America, were recalled after being found to contain dangerous levels of lead.
- Deadly Cribs: American company Simplicity Inc. recently found that the directions for its made-in-China Nursery-In-A-Box crib had been improperly produced. If followed, the Chinese-made directions could cause the crip to come apart and trap/injure babies.
- Poisonous Toothpaste: The FDA recently found that several low-priced toothpastes imported from China contained diethylene glycol, which poisons the liver and kidneys and depresses the central nervous system.
- Lead Necklaces: Geocentral’s Butterfly Necklaces for kids were recalled when it was found that the metal clasps on the necklaces contained dangerous levels of lead.
- Shattering glass ware: Pier 1 Imports recalled over 200,000 Chinese-made glassware pieces after it was found that they can crack or break unexpectedly, posing a laceration hazard to consumers.
- Collapsing Recliners: Rockingham Deluxe Lounge Chairs, imported from China by Rockingham Deluxe Lounge Chairs, were recalled because the chairs can collapse or fall backward due to faulty support brackets or weak frames, posing fall and severe laceration hazards to consumers.
- Dangerous Hammocks: A free-standing hammock manufactured by the Chinese company Danlong Industries has been found to break quite easily, sending anyone unlucky enough to be resting in the hammock to the ground. Several people have reported injuries.
- Lead Jewellery: Future Industries of New Jersey recalled their “Essentials for kids” jewellery product line after the Chinese-manufactured jewellery was found to contain dangerous levels of lead.
- The list goes on and on...