Archive for the ‘infant mortality’ Category

China child mortality still a worry: state media

January 26, 2008

BEIJING (AFP) – Child mortality among China‘s rural poor and its millions of migrants remains high despite overall improvements, state media quoted the World Health Organisation as saying Friday.

The mortality rates are “still alarmingly and unacceptably high in rural areas and among migrant populations,” Hans Anders Troedsson, the WHO’s China representative was quoted as saying by the China Daily.

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China Planning a Surreal Facade for Summer Olympic Games: Beijing 2008

July 7, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
July 9, 2007

Few could have anticipated the run of bad publicity, crises and scandals that China has weathered since about last winter or spring.

First, pets in America became sick and many died. The illness was traced to Chinese-made pet food laced with a fertilizer component named melamine. Companies in China had illegally added melamine to wheat gluten and rice protein in a bid to meet the contractual demand for the amount of protein in the pet food products.

After that, the Food and Drug Administration in the United States began to take a harder look at a host of Chinese products imported into the U.S.

The FDA ended up barring most seafood from China (where we in the U.S. get about 1/3 of our shrimp, much of our catfish and other “farm raised” seafood products) because much of it contained drugs, bacteria or other suspicious or obviously harmful products.

Not only was imported seafood tainted, but the FDA began turning away tons of other food products – some of it contaminated, some filled with toxins and other products full of bacteria.

Products like toothpaste, chewing gum and even soy sauce were found to be made with toxic ingredients. Roughly 900,000 tubes of Chinese made toothpaste containing a poison used in some antifreeze products turned up in U.S. hospitals for the mentally ill, prisons, juvenile detention centers and even some hospitals serving the general population.

Then the Colgate-Palmolive Company announced that it had found counterfeit “Colgate” toothpaste containing the anti-freeze diethylene glycol, a syrupy poison.

Although tainted or poorly made and tested food from China was first noticed in the United States and other western nations, once China checked its own store shelves it found problems. 

Inspectors in southwest China’s Guangxi region found excessive additives and preservatives in nearly 40 percent of 100 children’s snacks sampled during the second quarter of 2007, according to a report on China’s central government Web site.

The snacks — including soft drinks, candied fruits, gelatin desserts and some types of crackers — were taken from 70 supermarkets, department stores and wholesale markets in seven cities in the region, it said.

Only 35 percent of gelatin desserts sampled met food standards, the report said, while two types of candied fruit contained 63 times the permitted amount of artificial sweetener.

And if substandard children’s snacks weren’t bad enough, China and the U.S. FDA uncovered a huge racket in substandard medicines. One manufacturer of medicines was implicated in 11 deaths.  Five manufactures lost the ability to continue in the business.  And 128 drug makers lost their Chinese government Good Manufacturing Practice certificates, a symbol of favorable performance, the China Daily newspaper reported on its Web site.

We also saw, thanks to an aroused international media, child laborers illegally producing Beijing Olympics 2008 memorabilia. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for China, a slavery scandal erupted. Slaves were found mining materials and making bricks inside China.

The United Nations condemned China for the worst pollution in the world. China also produces more greenhouse gases than any other nation by far.

Despite China’s long history for managing its media and controlling what the world learned about the People’s Republic, stories surfaced and were verified that showed an illegal trade in “harvested” human organs from inside China. Unscrupulous doctors and businessmen teamed up to create a thriving business in human organs. The problem was that the organs came from prisoners and the mentally ill, who had no say in the matter and died before they could become witnesses to this atrocity.

Add to this a long and unresolved dispute about the way China controls its currency and a thriving business inside China in counterfeit goods: everything from U.S. music and motion pictures to Rolex watches, books and, well, you name it.

China tried to market a new Chinese made automobile to the upscale European buyer but the vehicle disintegrated in a 40 MPH crash test. Now Europeans wouldn’t be, well, caught dead in the thing.

So from May until July 2007, despite the Chinese News Spin Machine going full tilt the bad news about China seemed to be spinning out of control.

Just today, July 7, 2007, the Central Committee of the Communist Party seemed to be threatening local leaders who allow social unrest.  “Officials who perform poorly in maintaining social stability in rural areas will not be qualified for promotion,” Ouyang Song, a senior party official in charge of personnel matters said, according to China’s Official Communist News media.

All these problems don’t even trump China’s most horrible foreign policy disaster: Suport for Sudan without taking action on Darfur.  The U.N. and others have referred to Sudan’s conduct in Darfur as genocide.  And Hollywood big shots are already calling next summer’s Olympics in Beijing the “genocide games.” 

Not to worry, though. China’s communist leadership still plans a masterful and error free Beijing Olympics 2008.

The communist government of China is taking action to streamline what the western media sees next summer. Smokey, coal-fired factories are even being moved out of Beijing and into the countryside because their effluent looks so disgusting there was fear these factories alone could cause a major embarrassment.

Beijing’s population had a practice “No Spiting Day” in an effort to reduce this disgusting habit common in the city. The test was a disastrous failure and a new training approach is planned. Beijing also had a day devoted to polite lining up for buses and trains. This worked out a little better with the obedient and terrified city workers not taking any chances.

During the Olympics, communist leaders in Beijing plan to remove from the city the hordes of vagrants, homeless people and orphaned children who live on Beijing’s streets. Some estimate that as many as 2 million orphaned or homeless children live in Beijing alone.

In order to assess what can be done about Beijing’s choked streets overwhelmed by traffic; and to see if a dent can be made in the choking air pollution, one million Beijing automobile drivers will have to stay at home or use mass transit on a day scheduled to test the impact of all of this. Beijing only has 3 million registered automobiles so inconveniencing one-third of them for one day should hardly impact the economy, right? But if the test is a success, one would have to remind China that the Olympics is not a one day event.

When all this is assessed together, one might ask, when we get to Beijing next summer for the Olympic Games, how much of what we see will be real? And how much is a product of the smoke and mirrors China often employs to produce the desired result.


Pollution Dangers Cast Shadow over 2008 Olympics

Chinese Government Staff: “Happy News President Hu Jintao; We Ready For Happy Time Olympics!”

Some National Cultures More Tolerant of Death?

Tricky Vietnamese Truth About Catfish
The Chinese are just as smart as the Vietnamese on how to work the American system….

China says food safety scares threaten stability

China’s “Drug Abuse” Problem: Below Standard Pharmaceuticals Have Been Deadly

China may need a fresh approach to regulating its often unruly economy

China tells local authorities to address social instability


From John Carey: A friend sent us this:


I was in a Beijing hotel last year… A very upscale American style one near the Olympic area.Inside the hotel, it seemed identical to any nice hotel you’d see in New York, Dallas or LA… except for the big sign next to the faucet in the bathroom.

From John Carey: I had the same experience in Moscow.  Superior 4-star hotel  Water out of the tap was brown.

China’s Air Pollution Gorilla

July 6, 2007

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China’s Air Pollution Gorilla
By John E. Carey
July 6, 2007

China has by far the dirtiest air on earth. The city of Beijing, host city to the 2008 summer Olympic Games, is often dark or foggy looking even at mid-day.

The Financial Times (UK) reported this week that the World Bank and China were in a row (argument) over the number of “premature human deaths” cause by air pollution in China. Times sources said the World Bank was saying that about 750,000 people nationwide in China died prematurely due to the ill affects of air pollution. China apparently stonewalled the bank saying “only” between 350,000 to 400,000 premature deaths each year.

The World Bank wants to make sure the biggest industrial air polluters are shut down, cleaned up and issued heavier fines. Currently fines for pollution issued by China to manufacturers are not big enough to change anyone’s behavior. The big polluters would rather pay the fines than install the systems needed to clean up their exhaust.

You know how you know China is having a crisis or scandal? They march out a big shot bureaucrat to issue a denial.

China denied Thursday it pressured the World Bank to cut data from a draft of an environmental report that allegedly found that pollution caused about 750,000 premature deaths nationwide annually.

“The report you mentioned has not concluded yet and has not been released,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a regular briefing. “There was no issue of the deletion of relevant data requested by China.”

When you are discussing how many people die from your air pollution, you are discussing how many angels can dance on the point of a needle. The “point” China seems to miss is that their air pollution is so bad that it is killing people.

Reports say that China’s infant mortality rate due to air pollution is about 7% of all infants born in China.  These infants die within a few years due to respiratory problems caused by air pollution.

Factories built to fuel China’s economic miracle are big culprets in this air pollution disaster. But China also has more and more cars. The cars in China mostly burn fuel containing lead. Children have been severely harmed by lead-based pollution.

Beijing, a city of more than 15 million people, has at least 3 million registered cars. Chinese government officials are planning a day to remove 1 million cars from the roads so they can see if this reduces the pollution to a level that might be acceptible during the Olympics next summer.

A lot of people in China still use coal for cooking and heat.  In Beijing currently there is a drive to install cleaner gas for cooking and heating.

China has even moved at least one big pollution factory from Beijing to the countryside in anticipation of the Olympics.

With the Olympics about a year away some are wondering if the air in Beijing is clean enough to support the lives of world class athletes. “The athletes could be exposed to unhealthy air pollution unless there is a substantial reduction in emissions,” warns David Streets of the Argonne National Laboratory. Mr. Streets is the principal author of an article on the subject in the professional journal Atmospheric Environment.

More on this topic as it becomes available…..

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