Chinese Unsafe Products

This is from the Washington Post (September 4th).

Some extract:

After hearing about dangerous Chinese products elsewhere, Indonesia this summer began testing popular Chinese-made items on
its own store shelves. What it found has added to the list of horrors:
mercury-laced makeup that turns skin black, dried fruit spiked with
industrial chemicals, carcinogenic children’s candy.

The Chinese government called up in August saying it had a possible
solution. Husniah Rubiana Thamrin Akib, head of Indonesia’s top food and drug safety agency, was pleased and welcomed her counterparts to her office.

But according to Husniah, the Chinese suggested Indonesia lower its safety standards. Husniah said she was “very upset and very surprised.” “I said to them, ‘I respect your standards for your country. I hope you respect ours,” Husniah said.

In dealing with product safety complaints from the United States, China has sought to convince a concerned American public that it has reformed and is doing all it can to ensure the safety of its products. But its dealings with other, less-developed countries or those in vulnerable political positions are a different story, according to Husniah and officials in the Philippines and Malaysia.

The Chinese respond that their products have been the victim of unfair trade actions.

In the Philippines in July, a state-owned Chinese company threatened to sue for defamation after the Philippine government released a public warning saying a popular brand of candy was contaminated with formaldehyde. In Hong Kong, China pushed the territory to reconsider its recall of toothpaste contaminated with a chemical that other countries said might be poisonous but that China argued was present at levels safe for human consumption. It then ordered Hong Kong to submit a report on how and why it called back the toothpaste.

In Malaysia, a ban on fungus-infested nuts and dried fruit with a
carcinogenic sweetener from China was met with a Chinese alert on
litchi-flavored yogurt from Malaysia that it said didn’t meet labeling
requirements. Malaysia has long had a history of food safety issues with Chinese products. With each alert from Malaysia, the Chinese Embassy requests an explanation. “When they call us, we have to accept they are coming to us,” said Abdul Rahim Mohamad, director of food safety and quality at Malaysia’s Health Ministry.

Chinese food-safety officials argue that the recalls and bans by other
countries amount to technical trade barriers that attempt to legitimize what would otherwise be unfair trade practices.

Tensions flared during the Aug. 7 discussions in Jakarta between Husniah and Li Haiqing, a deputy director at China’s Administration of Quality Supervision and Inspection

When Husniah, a physician who is head of the National Agency of Drug and Food Control, asked for a list of products that China had recalled domestically, surmising that many of those products had likely made it illegally to Indonesia, the Chinese declined. Husniah said she was told:
“Don’t worry. We don’t permit substandard or hazardous products to be exported.”

Shortly before the meeting, China had announced a ban on Indonesian seafood.

Husniah refused the Chinese officials’ request to recommend new standards in accordance with Chinese law …

I think it is clear enough…

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