Archive for the ‘Panama’ Category

Panama Has “The Gift That Keeps On Giving”: Poisoned Candy From China

October 17, 2008

PANAMA CITY, Panama – Panama says Chinese cookies and candy pulled from stores have tested positive for melamine, the industrial chemical blamed for the deaths of four infants and the sickening of 54,000 children in China.

Food Safety director Gilberto Real says traces of the chemical were found in milk-based White Rabbit caramels, orange and strawberry sandwich cookies and milk bars.

Melamine is used to make plastics and fertilizers. It can cause kidney stones and in extreme cases can lead to death.

Panama pulled 56 Chinese products from stores last month. Real said Friday that 28 tested negative and 24 are still being examined.

Dozens of Panamanians died last year after taking tainted, Chinese-made medicine. [cough syrup]

–From Yahoo news and wire services
**************************************

China’s White Rabbit Candy: Poison Inc.

SHANGHAI (AFP) – Flanked by smiling bunny statues and waving official safety reports, White Rabbit‘s boss declared China‘s most famous candy was back on sale after a brief recall for containing tainted milk.

Weng Mao, president of candy maker Guan Sheng Yuan, officially began the fight to rehabilitate the White Rabbit brand in front of reporters and shoppers in a big department store on Shanghai‘s main pedestrian shopping street.

“A healthy White Rabbit is jumping back into a big market,” read a banner over Weng’s head as he announced Thursday the sweets were returning to mainland shelves three weeks after sales in China and 50 other countries were halted.

A White Rabbit candy promotion in Shanghai. Flanked by smiling ... 
A White Rabbit candy promotion in Shanghai. Flanked by smiling bunny statues and waving official safety reports, White Rabbit’s boss declared China’s most famous candy was back on sale after a brief recall for containing tainted milk(AFP/Str)

The creamy milk-flavoured candy was first produced in Shanghai in 1943 and, with its edible rice paper wrapper, has become one of the nation’s most recognisable and enduring global brands.

But sales of White Rabbit stopped on September 26 after they were found to contain melamine — an industrial chemical that was illegally added to Chinese milk to make its protein content seem higher.

Four Chinese babies died of kidney failure and more than 53,000 fell ill this year after consuming tainted dairy products.

After the scandal emerged in early September, it quickly went global with countries around the world detecting melamine in a wide range of Chinese-made dairy products and subsequently banning them.

Singapore’s health authorities first raised the alarm over White Rabbit last month, warning that the sweets contained the highest melamine levels out of a range of Chinese products tested.

Stores in the United States, Britain, Canada and New Zealand also soon pulled White Rabbit off their shelves, and the Chinese company was forced to halt exports to 50 overseas markets, as well as to suspend domestic sales.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081017/wl_asia_afp/
chinafoodsafetychildwhiterabbit_081017071649

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: At Long Last Admits Food Safety Clean Up Will Be “Arduous,” Long Term

August 5, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
August 5, 2007

With a public relations scandal looming if not already roiling for China on June 12, 2007, Li Dongsheng, the Vice Minister for the State Administration for Industry and Commerce in China, told reporters in China that China had developed “very good, very complete methods” to regulate product safety.

“We can guarantee food safety,” Vice Minister Li Dongsheng concluded.China demonstrated, by that statement and many similar denials and public announcements, that it “didn’t get it.” China doesn’t know what almost every experienced American movie star, politician and prominent sports figure know or will soon hear about as soon as a scandal break: come clean.

Noted Public Relations and Crisis Management professional Jonathan Bernstein wrote in an article written for Bernstein Communications, “the role of public relations … is to help stabilize that environment by developing messages and public relations strategy which results in prompt, honest, informative and concerned communication with all important audiences – internal and external.”

Today, after months of further developments in the scandal, the official China news agency Xinhua quoted the deputy head of the State Food and Drug Administration, Hui Lusheng, as saying “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.

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, China gets away without telling the truth or suffering consequences. But once the international media digs in its teeth, China generally suffers public and world wide embarrassment.

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.

In other words, public confidence in the government is not widespread. Many times public confidence in communist governments is based upon lies, loyalty to the government in exchange for jobs and other rewards, or other questionable bases of loyalty.

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 reporters from the New York Times, David Barboza and Alexei Barrionuevo,  found that the pet food was largely poisoned by a chemical reaction which included a product called melamine, which is used in fertilizer and plastics, mixed with wheat glutin. Using this formula, China could raise the protein level in food products, and eliminate more expensive meat.  In fact, for many years melamine was available to Chinese farmers without cost. 

Chinese manufacturers thus reduced production costs while still charging cutomers top dollar: as if beef or other high quality 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 New York Times 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 use of melamine is not restricted to a few isolate production houses: it is everywhere in Chinese agriculture, according to sources inside China.

Finally, many believe that there is a “culture of corruption” within China that has a tendency to bend public pronouncements toward what the public wants to hear and not toward the truth.

We’ve written about this previously and invite readers to read some and decide for themselves.
as saying.

Related:

Distrustful of China’s Government at Almost Every Turn

Recall of China-made toys unnerves parents

Rights groups shine Olympic spotlight on China

China: Trying to Fight ‘Culture of Corruption’ with Confucius

China: Culture of Corruption a Problem

China showcases transformed army

What Does Beijing’s Communist Central Government Consider a “Threat”?

Filler in Animal Feed Is Open Secret in China:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/30/
business/worldbusiness/30food.html?ex=1335585600&en=dd852b2af8137ac7&ei=
5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

A Western Success Story in Scandal Management
By Reyna Susi

In October of 1982, Tylenol, the leading pain-killer medicine in the United States at the time, faced a tremendous crisis when seven people in Chicago were reported dead after taking extra-strength Tylenol capsules. It was reported that an unknown suspect/s put 65 milligrams of deadly cyanide into Tylenol capsules, 10,000 more than what is necessary to kill a human.

The tampering occurred once the product reached the shelves. They were removed from the shelves, infected with cyanide and returned to the shelves.

In 1982, Tylenol controlled 37 percent of its market with revenue of about $1.2 million. Immediately after the cyanide poisonings, its market share was reduced to seven percent.

Once the connection was made between the Tylenol capsules and the reported deaths, public announcements were made warning people about the consumption of the product.

Johnson & Johnson was faced with the dilemma of the best way to deal with the problem without destroying the reputation of the company and its most profitable product.

Following one of our guidelines of protecting people first and property second, McNeil Consumer Products, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, conducted an immediate product recall from the entire country which amounted to about 31 million bottles and a loss of more than $100 million dollars.

Additionally, they halted all advertisement for the product.

Although Johnson & Johnson knew they were not responsible for the tampering of the product, they assumed responsibility by ensuring public safety first and recalled all of their capsules from the market. In fact, in February of 1986, when a woman was reported dead from cyanide poisoning in Tylenol capsules, Johnson & Johnson permanently removed all of the capsules from the market.

China probes its role in Panama deaths

July 23, 2007

By AUDRA ANG, Associated Press Writer

BEIJING – China is investigating a state-owned trading company’s role in tainted medicine that killed at least 94 people in Panama, an official said Monday, as the European Union urged Beijing to be more vigilant about product safety.

Beijing battled international mistrust about Chinese exports…

Read it all at:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070723/ap_on_
re_as/china_tainted_products_1;_ylt=
Atec_hPgOpI6XvRFbJM0tsVH2ocA

See also:
China Linked to Panama Cough Syrup Poisoning Deaths
http://www.voanews.com/english/2007-07-17-voa53.cfm