On the heels of the Melamine in pet food and in feed given to chickens comes this FDA warning:
“The government warned consumers on Friday to avoid using toothpaste made in China because it may contain a poisonous chemical used in antifreeze.”
So we should be careful during and after meals, it seems. And we should be careful what we feed our pets, it seems. And we should be suspicious of Chinese products because they’re trying to poison us, it seems.
Could be it’s more complicated than that.
To begin with, the US is talking to China to try to get them to address product safety issues:
“China’s food safety problems have in recent months become a matter of international concern, a situation reflected in trade talks between Chinese and U.S. officials in Washington last week.”
This is a step in the right direction, certainly – or would appear to be. But of course with the Bush administration’s deep desire to do nothing to regulate industry in this country, such talks provide cold comfort to those worried that such talks are more about allaying public concerns than about addressing the problems themselves.
And the Chinese seem unwilling or unable to address problems with some of their own most basic resources such as air and water – which is affecting the country’s ability to offer its own people safe food.
So if China’s “economic miracle” is founded on willingness to endanger the health of its own people, why should we expect them to take much care in the food products they import to us?
“Frankly speaking, it is too costly to make all the improvements necessary to meet the new government standards,” says Mao Xuewen, a senior engineer at the Sinopec petroleum plant in Lanzhou. “If foreign countries complain about China’s pollution, they should help us solve it and give us better technology.”
And why in hell should we give China technology to allow them to cut our throats economically even more efficiently?