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Is your Family in danger? Are products "made in China" DANGEROUS to your health?

Updated on February 23, 2012

Should we consider banning products made in China?

First of all let me say I have no personal vendetta against China. I have often thought highly of Chinese medicines and believe that a country whose medical research has been around for thousands of years compared to our hundreds, should know quite a bit about the human body and what it needs. I think that China is full of beauty and magnificently fascinating history and hope to someday visit the Great Wall of China. However there is something to be said about what I’ve seen in the news of late. Here are my concerns.

  • Surely you’ve heard in the news about Chinese companies recently accused of intentionally tainting pet food with the chemical melamine so that they would appear in tests to have more protein products. The pet food tainting was the last straw for Congressman and Americans alike. The FDA has made changes in its timeline of recalling pet food since than. After thousands of beloved family pets have died its no wonder. All so someone could make an extra buck no doubt.
  • Several toys made in China are recalled for containing lead paint. A ghoulish fake eyeball toy made in China was recalled after it was found to be filled with kerosene! Among the toy recalls, the problem is most acute with low-price, no-brand-name toys that are often sold at dollar stores and other deep discounters, which are manufactured and sent to the United States often without the involvement of major American toy importers. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has a complete list of the products involved on their web site.
  • Now the FDA is saying avoid toothpaste from China as it may contain a dangerous chemical which is also used in antifreeze and as a solvent. Over 100 people in Panama have died using Shir Fresh toothpaste. The Colgate-Palmolive Company warned that counterfeit toothpaste falsely packaged as "Colgate" has been found in several dollar-type discount stores in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. There are indications that the product does not contain fluoride and may contain diethylene glycol.
  • Another report by the FDA states that they are detaining all farm-raised catfish, bass, shrimp,dace and eel from China over concerns that the fish may be on drugs, specifically antibiotics that are not approved for human consumption in the U.S.
  • To add to it all USA Today reported, "The government has ordered a small New Jersey tire importer to recall 450,000 Chinese-made light-truck tires because they might come apart and cause fatal crashes, even though the importer says the costs of a recall would bankrupt it." "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it told Foreign Tire on Monday to recall the tires. It would be the second recall in a year and a half involving Hangzhou Zhongce tires. In February 2006, Cooper Tire & Rubber recalled 288,000 passenger-car tires from the Chinese maker because they contained "unauthorized material" in the sidewalls. Cooper said that could have caused air leaks and, eventually, tread separation."

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Is China Trying To Kill America From The Inside?

This is not the end I’m afraid.

The list of products “made in china” imported to the U.S. is astronomical I’m afraid. This makes me wonder if there is a pattern here with products from China. Maybe what really needs to happen here is for us to consider closing our doors to Chinese exports until we can come up with a solution. It doesn't appear that they have our best interest in mind. The problem is we have our fingers in too many pots in China. The odds of us completely pulling out of the export business with them are pretty slim I realize. But if we could at least reduce the amount exported or redirect our business to other countries at similar prices than maybe these Chinese companies will take a hint and get their act together. Until than, this girl is going to think twice before purchasing anything "made in China" and I'm not likely to be buying any shoes from Wal-mart.


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    • recoveringredneck profile imageAUTHOR

      Tonia L. Clark 

      9 years ago from Idaho

      JL thanks for the comment. Very interesting perspective. I wouldn't be the least be surprised if Wal-Mart was responsible for a lot of the hype going on with badly made products that THEY retail. I just don't know who is to account for the other ones mentioned above. I mean come on who puts Kerosene in a toy made for kids? I've been avoiding buying toys at the dollar store simply because I don't know what if any standards they may go by. I think there is a lot of politics going on between the whole trade system and sometimes you need a little bit of government intervention to protect the people, but unfortunately that hasn't proven to be very effective as of late either. A las I think they best we can do is just be leary of what we purchase, especially for our children. I must admit it is pretty hard to NOT find products made in China to use from day to day. Some deals are hard to pass up even.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      You are right that a lot of products Made in China are suspect and of questionable quality and safety. But the causes of this is rather more complicated due to the media and the US companies like Walmart - who we already know likes to pass the buck and blame it on the lowest guy on the pole who is powerless to do anything about it.

      Fact: China is a newly industrialized country - they were not always a manufacturing powerhouse. They don't have decades and decades of experience developing the products we buy. In fact, they rely on their customers - foreign "manufacturers" and brands to transfer the knowledge and know-how to manufacture the products. So problems like quality control are also processes and procedures that are transferred from foreign companies (or not) to Chinese factories.

      So why isn't the quality up to previous standards?

      The reasons all boil down to one simple fact: money/cost

      Companies like Walmart are not manufacturers. They are retailers. However, they will go to a Chinese factory and say to them: "make us something like this" - some existing product made by another company. Walmart does not have product designers, engineers, or managers who have the experience to effectively oversee product development and quality control. Instead, they tell the Chinese factory - you do it.

      Second reason: Walmart will say to the Chinese factory, for example - "we will pay you $100 per unit during the first 3 months, then $90 per unit for the 3 months following, and by the 6th month of production, we will only pay you $60 per unit. The assumption is that the factory will find ways to cut costs and pass it on to Walmart. So the factory faces losing money if they don't find ways to cut costs. Mind you - Walmart doesn't give the factory any specs or inspects the product for quality at the factory - that would involve sending costly American engineers and managers to China.

      Contrast this with Apple. Apple makes the iPhone and MacBook and lots of other products in China - and maintains the highest quality standards. Why? How? Apple spends millions on setting up the factory, training the workers, and automating processes. Apple sends teams of American engineers over to China to setup, train, test, and inspect the products for months and months at a time. It's very very expensive. But, the result is world class products - made in China.

      Its not that the Chinese workers are stupid or careless or hateful. It's that their customers - US companies, for example - in the interest of cost savings and maximizing profit for themselves - take shortcuts that they shouldn't - resulting in shoddy, dangerous products. Then they can blame the Chinese factory for delivering bad product.

      Keep in mind also that the media loves to play up problems with products made in China because it's attention grabbing, and bashes a trading partner with lots of surplus trade - a politically acceptable scapegoating.

      Let's look at problems in the US in recent years. USDA and FDA have had to investigate cases of: E.Coli contaminated beef, peanut butter, lettuce, strawberries - all produce in the USA. These aren't just people getting food poisoning for a day or two - many people have died, including infants, children, elderly.


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