China Strikes Again – More Deaths from Bad Products

Once again in less than two months,
China is at the center of another toxic food contamination, this time; it is people who have been affected.  Cheap diethyl glycol was shipped out of
China and labeled as glycerin for use in medicine has killed 100 confirmed with nearly 300 more unconfirmed, in
Panama so far and has been traced back to a
Beijing factory.  This is not the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last time either.


Many children have died as a result of someone deciding to sell an industrial product related to antifreeze as one fit for human consumptions.  The distributors were also involved in the cover up.  This really points out the darker side of globalization and how few checks and balances there really are on the system to ensure that the consumer can be confident what they buy is what they are suppose to get. 


China wants to be the low cost provider to the world, but
China has demonstrated once again, it doesn’t have the ability to regulate at home or its exports.  Even the FDA has put out a warning; although not specific to
China the timing of the warning on glycerin is very telling. 


China has failed as a trading partner once again and in some very serious areas.  First by allowing the sale of tainted pet food ingredients and now tainted ingredients for cough medicine which were given to children!  As a trading partner,
China has failed, and should be treated as one that has failed.  Tighten the controls on what comes in and send business to other partners who demonstrate a willingness to adhere to quality standards.  Of course this leads to the second part of the equation of failure.


US and
Panama basically worked on a trust system, we trusted that
China did some quality control and didn’t do any on our end.  This cost us lives.  In order to enforce tighter controls on Chinese imports, we would need to get our act together and actually check the safety of those products and for the
US at least, we don’t do that.


Business really needs to get in the game and realize that when it comes to products with
China, we need to watch them more closely.  It is a misconception that everyone works on the same playing field when it comes to ethics and morality, however greed is greed and in this case in
Panama, it was greed, that’s very clear by the evidence so far.  Should you let the that cost you your customer base that took you years or decades to build or your financial performance as they sue you blind?


A smart business would put in checks to ensure the quality of the products from
China because believe me; this is NOT going to be the last time we hear about Chinese products killing people.  I already know several people who are not avoiding Chinese products after hearing about the link to the pet food recall and the
Panama story will only make this group grow even larger.  A business that demonstrates its ability to really check the quality and accuracy of it’s products from
China or avoids them and demonstrates quality with products from other sources, will be able to weather the market hits that will come from the continued stories that will arise.


Reference Articles


NY Times Article


MSNBC Article


SF Gate Article

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