Archive for the ‘lead based paint’ Category

China Made SpongeBob Products Toxic; Recalled

August 23, 2007

More children’s items made in China have been recalled because they contain high levels of lead.

The largest recall affects about 250,000 SpongeBob SquarePants address books and journals, manufactured in China and imported by Martin Designs. They have been recalled because paint on the metal spiral bindings can contain high levels of lead.

There are a variety of styles affected.  If you have one of these go to the Consumer Product Safety Commission ( CPSC’s website ) for more information.

Related:
Psst. China! Enforce your laws, make new regulations where needed, admit the truth and wash your hands!

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“Where Did My Lucky Go?” Asks China’s Hu Jintao

August 21, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
August 21, 2007

China’s President Hu Jintao might be fed up with his “wonderfully pleasing idea” to bring the Olympics to Beijing.

He has seen his nation come under ever increasing scrutiny. People want to know about China’s record on human rights, HIV/AIDS, global warming and the environment and just about everything else.

胡锦涛
Hu Jintao
Hu Jintao

When things go horribly wrong you might expect to hear someone from China utter, “Where Did My Lucky Go?”

Luck, or more appropriately, “good fortune,” is one of the centerpieces of Chinese life.

When you live in a godless society, luck takes an even larger role.

So all of good fortune was implored as the one year countdown to the Olympics started in China earlier this month.

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge marked the start of the one-year countdown with a lavish Chinese-style ceremony that stared on the 8th day, of the 8th month at 8 PM and 8 minutes 8 seconds.

Eight is a lucky number in China.

But to the Chinese, Tiananmen Square has not always been lucky — especially for those seeking democratic and human rights reforms.

Chinese tanks mowed down pro-democracy demonstrators 18 years ago right where tonight’s Olympic ceremonies commenced.

“Not lucky place” a Chinese friend said to me as we watched events unfold.

Yesterday, the “not lucky place” was shrouded in toxic air pollution as Beijing completed a four day test with more than one million cars off the road. Unfortunately, the test was supposed to prove that by removing one million cars from Beijing the city would enjoy cleaner air.

Beijing is rushing to make its air clean for the 2008 Olympics, but experts say it will be impossible for the site to be totally safe for athletes at the global sporting event.

The test failed. Air pollution, as measured by the official state environmental agency, was up from three days ago.

President Hu Jintao of China must be saying about now, “Where Did My Lucky Go?”
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President Hu has a host of other issues dogging him: Darfur, the poisoned food scandal, the poisoned toy scandal and a mine disaster of epic proportions.  Read more at:

If China Has Nothing to Hide, Why Do They Hide So Much So Often?

China Plans Happy Olympics But A Few “Small” Problems Remain

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

Beijing’s Pollution Rises in 4-Day Test Of Restricted Driving

Psst. China! Enforce your laws, make new regulations where needed, admit the truth and wash your hands!

China’s Very Own Reality: Scandals “Politically motivated, unfair, biased and poisoned by jealousy”

August 19, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
August 20, 2007

Tainted seafood. Poisoned toothpaste. Cough Syrup that may have killed over 100 in Panama. Even toys with lead-based paint. Why? “Politically motivated, unfair, biased and poisoned by jealousy,” says China’s director of product safety, the Most Honorable Li Changjiang.

Just when you think China will come clean and admit that there were real tangible problems, the running back dodges a tackler and runs toward the goal posts.

China lives on denials, lies, suppression of news and obfuscation.And in this run up to the Beijing Summer Olympics, words from Chinese officials are less reliable than ever.

Have you noticed that all China’s factory workers wear hats or hair nets? You’ll never find a hair painted into a child’s toy from China but the paint might be lead-based, which is poisonous.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, at the height of the seafood problems, China’s “farm-fed” seafood came packed with antibiotics. That’s because they are fed on human excrement. If you soak your Chinese shrimp too long in warm water, the “pink” runs out. It is dye: there to make the seafood look more appealing.

The Chinese answer to all of this, weaving back and forth from near truth to outright ridiculous lies, includes this mystically Chinese answer given on China’s state TV network yesterday: “It’s not a severe winter, but there is a cold wind blowing,” the Most Honorable Li Changjiang said.

“This cold wind has been a big trial for the industry … But I think most of our companies can endure this test. Why do I say this? Because our exports keep going up.”

“More than 99 percent of our goods meet standards,” he added. “Demonizing Chinese products, or talking of the Chinese product threat, I think is simply a new kind of trade protectionism.”

It is all “politically motivated, unfair, biased and poisoned by jealousy.”

Forget O.J. Simpson. There is an entire government above 1.3 billion people that has mastered “spin” better than anyone: China.

On August 5, 2007, deputy head of the State Food and Drug Administration, Hui Lusheng, said, “At present, the food safety situation has improved, yet is still serious.”

“Since last year reports of ‘red-yolk duck eggs’ and so on have often caused wide concern in society about food safety, and warned us that our country is in a period of high risk,” Hui said, referring to a contaminated egg scare.

“Dealing with and preventing food safety risks is a long-term, arduous and complicated project, which needs society to work together and comprehensive prevention,” she added.

So on the one hand we have, “long-term, arduous and complicated.”

On the other hand, from a more senior person and less than a month later, we have, “Politically motivated, unfair, biased and poisoned by jealousy.”

This is today’s communist China. China lives on denials, lies, suppression of news and obfuscation.

Nobody should be fooled.

Related:
China: You Won’t Get The Truth
and
China: At Long Last Admits Food Safety Clean Up Will Be “Arduous,” Long Term

If China Has Nothing to Hide, Why Do They Hide So Much So Often?

Psst. China!

China: You Won’t Get The Truth

August 8, 2007

Today, August 8, 2007, we are one year away from the opening of the Summer Olympics 2008 in Beijing, China.

America will be greatly influenced by the National Broadcasting Sytem’s reports, promos and advertisements about the Olympics and China, to say nothing about the activities and reports surrounding the Games themselves.

What China does not want westerners to see or hear is any negative reporting about China. The issue of Human Rights, for example, is not allowed on any agenda.

Just remember: NBC has no obligation to say anything but that which is self-serving. And, because millions of dollars are at stake and China can shut down any media outlet at any time because there is no freedom of the press in China, you’ll see scores of reports from NBC that resemble the sucking-up one generally finds only among teenage male suitors. China is more than NBC’s bride and prize in this money making affair: China is the Golden Goose.

The essay below, published in today’s Washington Times, is my singular effort to provide some balance and perspective on China and that massive country’s government and culture of corruption.

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
August 8, 2007
Photo

China: Less Than the Whole Truth
By John E. Carey
The Washington Times
August 8, 2007

With a public relations scandal involving food and other product safety looming if not already roiling for China on June 12, 2007, the Vice Minister for the State Administration for Industry and Commerce in China said, “We can guarantee food safety.”

Starting in December 2006, news media had reported to the world on tainted (poisonous) products manufactured and exported from China. China denied the allegations but a steady “drip, drip, drip” of news revealed tainted pet foods, seafood, toothpaste, medical supplies, children’s custard and even children’s toys painted with lead based paint.

But, by still claiming that food products from China were completely safe last June, China in fact demonstrated that it “didn’t get it.” China doesn’t know what almost every experienced American movie star, politician and prominent sports figure knows or will soon hear about as soon as a scandal breaks: come clean.

On August 4, 2007, the official China news agency Xinhua quoted the deputy head of the State Food and Drug Administration, Hui Lusheng, as saying “Dealing with and preventing food safety risks is a long-term, arduous and complicated project.” Finally, a probably reliable admission from China.

Why does China “not get it”? Why, when a crisis or scandal breaks, does China at first issue a denial and only reverse course once the mess is a firestorm?

First, China does not have a fully free and open media. During many scandals, especially largely internal scandals, China gets away without telling the truth or suffering consequences.

The second reason many believe that China generally denies the truth to escape responsibility and public scorn is more complicated, cultural and deeply rooted in the communist system.

Because China and other communist countries have no free and open elections, the communist party and its officials stay in power using a system of coercion, force and putting down public unhappiness – sometimes ruthlessly and violently.

Public confidence among the Chinese in their government is not widespread. Public obedience from the countryside to edicts from Beijing are often ignored.

China has another problem: with 1.3 billion people and an immense land mass, seemingly small problems are often found to be huge.

In last spring’s tainted pet food scandal, China at first denied any wrongdoing.

But western reporters found that the pet food was largely poisoned by a product called melamine, which is used in fertilizer and plastics. Using melamine, Chinese manufacturers reduced production costs while still charging customers top dollar: as if beef or other high quality protein products had been used in the pet food.

Melamine is a prohibited substance in American pet food according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, melamine is a widely accepted fertilizer in China. And farmers mix it into livestock feed, pet food and other products because it is plentiful, inexpensive and usually undetected.

When the reporters in China followed up on this story, they asked some farmers why China couldn’t just stomp out those few using melamine. Farmers told them everyone used melamine this way since the 1950s. The reporters wrote their findings under the headline, “Filler in Animal Feed Is Open Secret in China.”

The China government has a three phase plan for dealing with a crisis. The food safety scandal gives us a perfect example.Phase one is denial, phase two is a flurry of activity that does little good but serves to distract the media, and phase three is the “come clean and solve (or at least seem to solve) the problem phase.”In 2003, China faced an epidemic of a disease called Severe Acute Reparatory Syndrome (SARS).

As the story broke that the disease was reaching epidemic proportions in Vietnam and Singapore, China didn’t make a sound.

Then China started issuing denials. Sure enough, after many denials of any medical problem in China, news reports began to come out of China that it, too, was experiencing SARS but that the problem was being competently managed. Phase two was on.

Near the end of the crisis China began to escort news people around hospitals and other facilities to demonstrate the professionalism and medical readiness of China’s system.

It was then that many realized the government of China responded the same way to every crisis. I documented my conclusions in a Washington Times commentary on Sunday, May 4, 2003.

Recall the Bird Flu crisis? Phases One, Two and Three were used again.

The bottom line is this: China has now established the unenviable record as a government that cannot be trusted in many cases: especially when a crisis darkens China’s door.

John E. Carey is former president of International Defense Consultants, Inc. and a frequent contributor to the Washington Times. He has lived in and studied China.

The article above appears in the Washington Times today, August 8, 2007, at:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070808/COMMENTARY/108080004

Related:

Human rights questions remain for China

China, Vietnam and Russia: Torrid Economies, Rampant Lawlessness

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

China Awarded First Olympic Gold Medal (In Human Rights Abuse)

People Living Under Communism: Very Limited Rights (If Any)

In this run up to the Beijing Summer Olympics over the course of the next year, you’ll see many “happy face” “news” reports from westerners in China. As I was writing the essay above, Meredith Viera of the NBC TODAY show was sampling food in China during a report from China. Of course, NBC has a huge contract to televise the 2008 Summer games and is in no position to offer any criticism or balanced and rational reporting from China.

So there is a different view of China, an alternative to NBCs, that needs to be known and understood.

And oh, by the way: The web sites of The Washington Times and Peace and Freedom are “blocked ” in China and unavailable to internet users inside China.