Friday, June 08, 2007

What is it with China and our consumer goods?

First it was pet food. Now you need to be careful about your toothpaste. Toothpaste made in China contains DEG (antifreeze). Chinese officials don't seem to be worried about it as they claim that DEG is in a lot of the goods that their own citizens consume. Isn't it comforting to know that so many of our consumer goods are made in a country where the government cares so little about the health and well being of their own citizens?

There's even some concern about fish imported from China's sewage-contaminated aquafarms and lead quantities found in makeup and even toys made in China. What's up with this? Is anything safe anymore?

When I read about news like this, the first thing that comes to my mind is how Wal-Mart has pushed so many formerly American-made products into the hands of the Chinese who are obviously having problems with quality control. Hey, anything to get the lowest price for Wal-Mart's customers................

Don't look for any Republicans to make too big of a fuss with the Chinese. That might make Wal-Mart mad. And we all know why Republicans don't want to make Wal-Mart mad.

Don't get me wrong. The fact that many a monied Chinese citizen paid for a night in the Lincoln bedroom during the Clinton administration isn't lost on me. In fact, I agree with Dave Sirota in his opinion that too many Democrats have been just as complicit as the Republicans in selling out our own workers and consumers to the Chinese.

So who's looking out for us?

Given our own problems in this country with recalls on items like peanut butter and spinach, the FDA seems to be short on manpower and resources necessary to effectively judge what Americans are consuming both here and abroad. That is, until people and animals start getting sick and dying.

5 comments:

nytexan said...

Wal-Mart so irritates me. You are right that republicans would never do anything to piss off Wal-Mart here or abroad. Beside accountability is not a program in this administration or Wal-Mart.

What cracks me up about the loyal Wal-Mart shopper is they always say “I buy only American”. Meanwhile they are too ignorant know that 99% of everything from WM is from China.

Bet you $10 buck Wal-Mart will be an obnoxious sponsor all over China during the Olympics.

Steve said...

One problem with Sino-US relations is they are buying up all of our debt. They pretty much own us, but thats the way the game is played.

...and you are dead on about the Clinton-Chinese thing. This problem has been brewing for years.

It just goes to show you that a medium term positive (Nixon's visit in '72) can later come back to haunt you.

Button Gwinnett said...

NYTexan, I'm always curious to read about Beijing's prep work for the Olympics next year. I actually hold back from criticizing China, Russia, etc. more, though I'd love to. Unfortunately, our leadership has made it hard for an American to crticize anyone else over human rights, animal rights, the environment, etc. At least not without feeling slightly hypocritical. We've lost a lot of our moral authority.

Steve, the fact that they own so much of our debt does make it hard for us (R's or D's) to stand up to them. If we're not careful, we will have allowed a country to do in peace what others failed to do in war.

We've already seen the EU and even Russia build closer ties to China Russia has been for years, even holding joint military exercises.

Meanwhile Bush and his no-diplomacy has turned most of the world against us. He's even managed to make China look like a voice of peace during all of this. Even though we know that China is directly supplying most of our enemies, which means they're probably indirectly supplying groups like Al-Queda too.

Larry said...

Great post:

Walmart and Corporate America have literally destroyed the U.S manufacturing base.

What few American made goods that are left, lie in jeopardy of falling to outsourcing.

Button Gwinnett said...

Thanks for stopping by, Larry.....

I keep hearing that we're evolving into some sort of knowledge-based society and away from industry. For better or worse, Wal-Mart has certainly played a role.