The Daily Show had a recent episode entitled “The Great Recall of China” and it featured a great clip from a newscaster defending China from the recent lead paint recall of Mattel toys. These words of wisdom from CNBC reporter Erin Burnett:
“You know, I think people should be careful what they wish for on China. You know, if China were to revalue it’s currency, or China is to start making toys that don’t have lead in them or food that isn’t poisonous their costs of production are going to go up and that means prices at Wal-Mart here in the United States are going to go up, too. So, I would say China is our greatest friend right now, they’re keeping prices low and they’re keeping the prices for mortgages low, too.”
Ho Lee Shit. I cannot believe this woman actually said this. Astounding. I imagine she is heavily invested in China or some firm that does business with them (or is boffing some guy who is). What a cunt. I imagine she has no children and herself does not shop at Walmart, or buy food products which might have ingredients from China in them?
The Mattel CEO was on a clip also defending China, (and I paraphrase) saying that “this is not the first country we’ve moved our manufacturing to where there were recalls and problems with the products.” (and this is a GOOD thing to mention to make people feel better – some sort of defense???) And yet, outsourcing manufacturing to China is still seen as a viable alternative. Weigh the costs of lawsuits and recalls against the increase in profits – they must still be coming out way ahead in this game to continue defending China this way.
One good thing, is apparently this crisis is driving up demand for US made toys. Good, maybe we can actually keep some manufacturing jobs in first world countries.
On another tainted Chinese product front, I noticed a report recently when searching Google for a link to the Daily Show clip – another Blogger found a posted report from the Danish government, which tested sex toys (many of which are made in China) and found high amounts of cadmium, and various other chemicals and lead in some of these toys – making some for example recommended as unsafe for pregnant or breastfeeding women (but of course the products contain no such warning labels) : http://www2.mst.dk/udgiv/publications/2006/87-7052-227-8/pdf/87-7052-228-6.pdf
Additionally I wonder about pet toys. I have noticed lately that toys with the same general ‘shape’ (such as squeaky hedgehogs or hot dogs etc.) that are bought for dogs to chew have changed. I turned them over and saw they were made in China. The shapes were the same, but now rather than using the actual plastic to make the colorings, the plastic is all 1 color and the toys are painted (with garishly bright paints). I shied away from buying these when I saw them on the market, as I instinctively realized they had no ‘safety’ stickers saying the paints were ‘non toxic’ as one would expect on a toy designed to be chewed up and sucked on! The paint will surely flake off and knowing how little the Chinese care about children, one can guess they have even lower standards for toys marketed for pets. So be careful about cheap chew toys made in China as well – go for brands made elsewhere and which give some safety guarantee about the ingredients used to manufacture them.
So think twice about what you play with – kids, adults and pets if it is made in China!
Also see my previous post on this topic – listing a lot more tainted Chinese exports which are making various countries across the world suffer.