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Someone Didn’t Get The Memo

April 29th, 2009

leadpaintNearly two years after “Made in China” suffered a PR meltdown on major toy recalls, Mainland China manufacturers continue to export children’s products tainted with lead paint. Problematic merchandise was most recently discovered in Southern California. On the report, from the Associated Press:

Most of the items were imported from China and packaged with labels proclaiming them lead-free… State law prohibits the use of materials in children’s jewelry that contain more than .06% lead. Regulators said material from one children’s necklace tested at nearly 74% lead. 

I guess someone didn’t get the memo?

There are those, of course, who will say that this latest case is about ignorance, that it could have been another “misunderstanding,” that manufacturers in China are still capable of learning a lesson. What manufacturers need are strict guidelines combined with heavy penalties.

The more recent scandal in the milk industry would be an example. Individuals who adulterated milk with the toxic substance, melamine, have received harsh prison sentences. That’s the way you’re supposed to do it. This is the sort of response that solves the problem.

Really?  

The only thing milk producers have learned from the milk scandal is not to use melamine. One news report suggests that dairy folks have moved on to other protein-like substitutes that can aid in circumventing third-party laboratory testing. The new ingredient that dairy farmers are using this time is a powder extracted from tanned leather. From CRIEnglish.com

Leather protein powder is believed to be harder to detect than the notorious industrial chemical melamine which was added to milk powder and other dairy products in China, sickening more than 294,000 infants and killing at least six. The latest incident, in the wake of China’s melamine-tainted baby formula scandal, was first reported to China’s top quality watchdog in an anonymous letter in February this year, the Chengdu Business Daily reported.

The dairy company responsible is located in Zhejiang Province, and it employs about 100 people. You have to wonder how many employees knew about this one replacement ingredient. In the case of melamine, the number of those who understood what was being done had to have been in the hundreds, if not the thousands.

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