06 May 2007

Some people feel that China's...

Massive counterfeiting operations are a victimless crime... but don't tell that to the families of these folks.

Toxic syrup has figured in at least eight mass poisonings around the world in the past two decades. Researchers estimate that thousands have died. In many cases, the precise origin of the poison has never been determined.

But records and interviews show that in three of the last four cases it was made in China, a major source of counterfeit drugs.
This is pretty serious business. You can't read the label on a bottle of cough syrup and see where individual ingredients are manufactured.
Panama is the most recent victim. Last year, government officials there unwittingly mixed diethylene glycol into 260,000 bottles of cold medicine — with devastating results.

Families have reported 365 deaths from the poison, 100 of which have been confirmed so far. With the onset of the rainy season, investigators are racing to exhume as many potential victims as possible before bodies decompose even more.
Most people are familiar with China's massive illegal trade in Hollywood DVD knock-offs, but what about replacement parts for passenger airlines, or in this case, chemicals used to make pharmaceuticals...
Panama’s death toll leads directly to Chinese companies that made and exported the poison as 99.5 percent pure glycerin.

Beyond Panama and China, toxic syrup has caused mass poisonings in Haiti, Bangladesh, Argentina, Nigeria and twice in India
.
When we lived in the city, my wife used to buy bottled made-in-China soy-sauce right down in Chinatown. Until, that is, I read an article about heavy-metal contamination in that particular product.

Looks like being aware and hyper-vigilant may not be enough.

FROM COMMENTS:
"Holy Economic Surrender Batman!!!"
Last year, the US ran up a $818 billion trade deficit. Around a third of that deficit was due to trade with China. Overall, the bilateral US-China trade deficit is running at about 2 percent of GDP a year.

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4 comments:

james higham said...

Simple - scour the labels - never buy Chinese.

Neo Conservative said...

*
"james higham said... never buy Chinese"

especially anything that goes in your mouth.

unfortunately, the labelled ingredients in pharmaceuticals don't specify country of origin.

*

Anonymous said...

Just how unbalanced is trade between the US and China?

Back in 1985, bilateral US-Chinese trade was in balance. The US exported to China about as much as China exported to the US. Since then, however, the US has sucked up Chinese imports. Last year, the US imported almost $290 billion of goods, but exported just $55 billion.

Last year, the US ran up a $818 billion trade deficit. Around a third of that deficit was due to trade with China. Overall, the bilateral US-China trade deficit is running at about 2 percent of GDP a year.

http://economicdespair.blogspot.com/2007/05/selling-out-to-china.html

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