Archive for the ‘dumplings’ Category

“Made in China” label battered by product scandals

December 8, 2008

Milk, toothpaste, cough syrup, pet food, eels, blood thinner, car parts, pork, eggs, honey, chicken, dumplings, cooking oil and rice — if you can fake it or taint it, you can almost guarantee it’s happened in China.

A string of product safety scandals, including contaminated infant formula that is believed to have killed six babies and sickened thousands of others, have rocked the faith of shoppers, making them wary of buying products made in China despite the often cheaper price tag.

Officers from the local Administration for Industry and Commerce ...
Officers from the local Administration for Industry and Commerce prepare to destroy confiscated milk in Baofeng, Henan province in this November 10, 2008 file photo.(China Daily/Files/Reuters)

By Ben Blanchard, Reuters

“I was physically disgusted when I saw it on the TV,” said Sally Villegas, a mother of two in Australia, referring to the melamine-tainted infant formula scandal that came to light in September.

“If I’m shopping and I pick up a product made in China, yes I would put it back.”

The melamine scandal was the latest in a string of recent high-profile safety problems that included lead paint on toy cars and contaminated Chinese-made blood thinner heparin which was blamed for fatalities in the United States and Germany and prompted a global recall early this year.

After each scandal, Beijing seemed to have the same response: launching a crackdown, destroying tainted goods on television, jailing a few officials and saying they “pay great attention” to the problem.

Trouble is, for all the government’s efforts and exhortations, the scandals keep happening, and will likely keep on happening, due to lax rule enforcement, fragmented industries, widespread poverty and the sheer size of China, analysts say.

“I’m sure that there will be more. It’s a near certainty. Not only in the fields that we’ve seen already, but in other ones,” said Duncan Innes-Ker, a China analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit in Beijing.

“China faces a lot of problems because it is developing into a big but very poor economy, and obviously you can’t have Western-style safety mechanisms in an economy where half the population doesn’t earn much more than a couple of dollars a day,” he added.


Jin Biao, vice president of Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group, one of China’s largest dairy producers, admitted the melamine problem had dented the country’s already badly tattered reputation overseas.

“The contamination was our management problem. We must first resolve it without trying to pass the blame on to the farmers, or to society, or the country,” he told Reuters.

Read the rest:

China, Pollution and how U.S. Government Fat Cats Live

December 6, 2008

China surely has much to learn from the United States when it comes to reducing air pollution, and who better than Environmental Protection Agency chief Stephen L. Johnson to return to the Middle Kingdom for a week-long trip — his second visit there in a year — to help them out.

Johnson is part of a group of Cabinet officials traveling to Beijing for an economic exchange trip at the end of the week. But, hey, that’s a long way to go just for a two-day meeting. So he’s already arrived in Shanghai, got there Sunday, for an important roundtable discussion with American and Chinese businessmen “on the importance of sound environmental regulation and consistent enforcement.” Then he’s off to talk to students at Tongji University, a highly regarded institution known for its science and engineering faculties. Maybe not the caliber of nearby Fudan University, but quite good.

From there he’s off to Xian, in central China, for critical meetings with officials from the Northwest Regional Supervision Center and the provincial Environmental Protection Bureau. There, according to an EPA news release, “Johnson will learn more about the evolving relationship between the RSCs and the provincial EPBs.” As everyone knows, it is essential for the lame duck Johnson, who has seven weeks left as EPA chief, to learn about that important relationship before he heads off to the private sector.

We’ve advised him that if, by some chance, he can break away, there are of course the famed terra-cotta soldiers of the Qin Dynasty (221 B.C.) and an equally impressive dig recently opened just by the airport in Xian. The famed dumplings at that restaurant just outside the city wall are also not to be missed.

The terra-cotta warriors of Xian are among the attractions that EPA chief Stephen Johnson might want to check out while he's in China talking about clean air and such.

The terra-cotta warriors of Xian are among the attractions that EPA chief Stephen Johnson might want to check out while he’s in China talking about clean air and such. (China Photos Via Getty Images)

After that, Johnson speeds off to join other Cabinet officials in Beijing on Thursday for a two-day meeting with Chinese counterparts before rushing home over the weekend to impart all those important lessons to other EPA officials.

–The Washington Post


Beijing traffic. Car sales in China fell more than 10 percent ...
Coal, Industry and cars make a devil’s brew of air pollution in China.  This is Beijing traffic. 
AFP/File/Peter Parks