Thursday, Jul. 02, 2009

China's Product-Safety Recalls

In 2008, China's largest provider of milk powder recalled 700 tons of baby formula after one child died and more than 50 others developed kidney problems. Melamine, a chemical used in the making of plastic, was found in the baby formula; it later emerged that unscrupulous manufacturers had been adding it to food products to cheaply boost protein values. Two men were eventually sentenced to death for their role in the scam. The revelations only further damaged China's reputation in production. Melamine had been a problem a year earlier, in March 2007, when the FDA recalled more than 60 million cans of cat and dog food after the death of 14 pets. In addition to spoiling food, Chinese-made toys were recalled later in 2007; Mattel took several of its Barbie and Polly Pocket products off the shelves because of concerns over toxic lead paint and hazardous magnet parts.