Archive for the ‘pet food’ Category

China seizes on Mattel apology to emphasize safety

September 24, 2007

BEIJING (Reuters) – China highlighted Mattel‘s apology over its recall of huge numbers of toys on Monday to press Beijing‘s claim that its exports are generally safe and foreign politicians and media have unfairly hyped quality scares.

Before those recalls, a spate of complaints involving unsafe Chinese products ranging from other toys and seafood to toothpaste that entered EU and U.S. markets prompted calls on both sides of the Atlantic for stricter scrutiny of made-in-China goods.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070924/hl_nm/
china_safety_dc_3

Related:
Lead Paint Danger in China Toys Worse Than First Thought

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China Claiming “Major Advances” in U.S. Relationship

September 20, 2007

By John E. Carey
The Washington Times
September 20, 2007

On Saturday, September 15, the official communist news agencies in China were buzzing with news of a new “White Paper” from China’s government stating that China and the U.S. were having a wonderful year of comity and togetherness.

According to China’s Foreign Ministry, the relationship between China and the United States has been stable in the past year, with some “major” advances.

The next day, two newspaper items caught the eye.

The first headline is rather self explanatory: “China recalls leukemia drugs in safety scare.”

The headline “Quality control urgency” brought readers to a commentary in the Washington Times by Herbert Klein. The essay begins, “Toys, toothpaste and pet foods are only a small part of the U.S.-China trade. But the angry public reaction to the sale of contaminated products demands priority attention from both nations.”

Hardly the stuff of a smoothly sailing international relationship.

The relationship between China and the U.S. is complex and multi-faceted, certainly. But to allow the communist government and their state controlled media to distort the facts unanswered is unconscionable.

China views the world this way, according to an amassed pile of Chinese Foreign Ministry press releases and state controlled media stories during the past year:

–despite several food, toy and other product safety scandals this year, more than 90% of China’s products are safe and China continues to strive for product safety perfection.

–while the West questions China’s intent as it expands and modernizes its military, China only seeks better self defense and no nation should be alarmed.

–critics say China has a pollution problem but China is a developing nation exempt from the Kyoto treaty and other measures and China is working very hard to lesson pollution everywhere.

The facts in all these issues may be debatable. But in the view of many China watchers, international diplomats and international organizations including the United Nations, the counter arguments to China’s Foreign Ministry and state controlled media look like this:

On food and product safety, the central government in Beijing has little control over a vast and far-flung array of farms, factories, entrepreneurs, middlemen and vendors.

According to Les Lothringer, a China expert based in Shanghai who has done business in China for many years, “It is quite impossible for any Chinese official to guarantee anything in China because of the lack of control that the government has and the lack of standards we take for granted in the West.”

On the issue of China’s military build-up, China has embarked on a huge military build-up. But nobody knows how much China is spending on defense, and procurement projects are shrouded in secrecy.

Since late last year, a Chinese ship-attack submarine surfaced within sight of a U.S. aircraft carrier before being detected for the first time in history, China demonstrated an anti-satellite missile capability the first time in history, and China has continued to verbally bully Taiwan.

During this last summer, both Prime Minister John Howard of Australia and a Defense Ministry “White Paper” from Japan voiced concern about China’s defense matters.

In Australia, Mr. Howard said, “The pace and scope of its military modernization, particularly the development of new and disruptive capabilities such as the anti-satellite missile, could create misunderstandings and instability in the region.”

Japan’s paper on defense said, “There are fears about the lack of transparency concerning China’s military strength. In January this year China used ballistic missile technology to destroy one of its own satellites. There was insufficient explanation from China, sparking concern in Japan and other countries about safety in space as well as the security aspects.”

With regard to pollution, China has the worst pollution of every kind in the world.

“I wouldn’t expect a world record in the marathon in Beijing [the Beijing Olympics, Summer Games 2008],” says Marco Cardinale, a doctor who advises the British Olympic Committee. “The issue isn’t just air quality, but the combination of heat, humidity and bad air.”

Michael Mueller, a German environment ministry official said that the Chinese delegates to a U.N. environmental meeting had been “masters of deception and the art of interpretation.”

”It is a very awkward situation for the country because our greatest achievement is also our biggest burden,” says Wang Jinnan, one of China’s leading environmental researchers. ”There is pressure for change, but many people refuse to accept that we need a new approach so soon.”

China lowered its energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by just 1.2 percent last year — against a goal of four percent — while pollution emission levels actually rose by two percent.

And meanwhile, China continues to build coal-fired power plants at a rate of more than one a week.Finally, in another example of Beijing’s lack of effective central control, U.N. inspectors found that factory managers not closely situated near Beijing generally took the attitude of, “We’ll use coal, produce more products and ignore Beijing as long as we continue to increase profits.” Beijing has told the U.N. it can significantly reduce pollution.

These differences between China’s view of itself and the views provided by less biased observers doesn’t even mention the vast gulf between China and international groups like Human Rights Watch on the issue of rampant human rights abuses in China.

In short, China is boasting of its wonderful relationship with the U.S. during this past year including some “major” advances. The U.S. should clearly set the record straight.

Mr. Carey is former president of International Defense Consultants, Inc. and a frequent contributor to the Washington Times.

China Calls Toy Recall ‘Responsible’ But Doesn’t Itself Take Responsibility

August 23, 2007

By AUDRA ANG, Associated Press

BEIJING – China on Thursday said a global recall of millions of its toys was the responsible thing to do, but said that was the result of new industry standards — not poor quality.

Meanwhile, a Cabinet-level panel announced the launch of a nationwide safety campaign focused on food and drugs, as well as increased monitoring of exports. The measures underscored government efforts to win back consumer confidence.

Earlier this month, Mattel Inc. recalled almost 19 million Chinese-made items around the world including dolls, cars and action figures. Some were contaminated with lead paint….

Read the rest at:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070823/ap_on_re_
as/china_tainted_products_31

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.

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 draws up export blacklist amid health scares

August 4, 2007

BEIJING (Reuters) – China has blacklisted more than 400 exporters for violating trade rules following a series of food, drug and other health scares across the world, the Commerce Ministry said on Saturday.

The list included two pet food manufacturers that had exported to the United States. Washington stepped up inspections of imports from China after a chemical additive in pet food caused the death of some pets there earlier this year.

Since then, poisonous ingredients have been found in Chinese exports of toys, toothpaste and fish, while the deaths of patients in Panama….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070804/hl_nm/china_safety_dc_1

China closes 3 plants on safety concerns

July 21, 2007

SHANGHAI: Chinese regulators said Friday that they had revoked the licenses of three companies that had exported mislabeled drug ingredients and tainted pet food ingredients to the United States and other parts of the world.

By David Barboza
The International Herald Tribune
July 20, 2007

The action comes as Beijing has gone on the offensive, trying to show that regulators here are moving swiftly to help ease global worries about the quality and safety of Chinese exports after months of worrisome product recalls and reports about defective or tainted Chinese goods.

China closed the Taixing Glycerin Factory…

Read the rest:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/07/21/
business/21food-web.php

Frightening Scenes: Beijing’s Brutal Dirty Laundry

July 20, 2007

By Spencer Warren
The Washington Times
July 20, 2007

Fake baby milk formulas and soy sauce made from human hair. Safety recalls of children’s toys, tires and other products, including 900,000 tubes of toothpaste containing a poison used in antifreeze. Pet food poisoned by a chemical (made from coal) secretly added to animal feed, making an estimated 14,000 U.S. pets ill and killing at least 16.

These recent stories put in concrete form the reality of what a primitive country China still is….

Read the rest:
http://washingtontimes.com/article/20070720/
EDITORIAL/107200017/1013/editorial

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

Chinese dissident was tortured

China says food safety scares threaten stability

July 9, 2007

By Ben Blanchard
July 9, 2009

BEIJING (Reuters) – China risks damaging its global credibility and provoking social instability if it does not tackle its food and drug quality problems, an official said in a rare admission amid a series of scares over tainted products.

China’s safety failings have drawn world attention since mislabeled chemical exports were found in cough syrup in Panama and pet food in the United States. There have been a series of recalls and bans on items ranging from toys to toothpaste.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070709/hl_nm/
china_safety_dc_4

Other reading and returned pings:
Media for Freedom
http://www.mediaforfreedom.com/

All Things Conservative:
http://allthingsconservative.typepad.com/

Wake Up America, A Tale of Two Papers: OUR MEDIA
Iran Admits Working With Al Qaida, Freedom Ain’t Free & Take Our Country Back

From Sea to Shining Sea (Russell Wilcox at his best)
http://forthegrandchildren.blogspot.com/

Flap’s Dental Blog:
http://flapsblog.com/
MORE FLYING PORK…, Azamatterofprinciple
WHY LIBERALS ALWAYS GET TERRORISM WRONG, Azamatterofact
Why Young People are not educated, Planck’s Constant
Are we safe?, Democrat Missourian
Peace Mother Sheehan Threatens to Oust Nancy Pelosi, Blue Star Chronicles
The Thunder Run, Web Reconnaissance
123Beta, Good Stuff Sunday

Best of all RIGHT TRUTH!
http://righttruth.typepad.com/right_truth/

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

July 8, 2007

By Joseph Kahn
International Herald Tribune
July 8, 2007

BEIJING: Phony fertilizer destroys crops. Store shelves are filled with deodorized rotten eggs, and chemical glucose is passed off as honey. Exports slump when European regulators find dangerous bacteria in packaged meat.

More product safety scandals in China? Not this time. These quality problems prompted a sluggish U.S. government to tighten food and drug regulation 101 years ago, when President Theodore Roosevelt signed the act that created the Food and Drug Administration.

Like America’s industrializing economy of a century ago, China’s is powered by zealous entrepreneurs who sometimes act like pirates. In both cases there were epidemics of fatal fakes, and regulators too inept, corrupt or hamstrung to do much about it.

Read the rest at:
http://www.iht.com/articles/
2007/07/08/news/beijing.php?page=1