– Product On Walmart Shelves!!!
– China Knew Since August 8, 2008 But Did Not Issue Recall For A Month!!!
– NEW STORY BREAKING: Pesticide Tainted Rice From China Consumed In Japan
Questions For Health Minister Estwick:
This Product Kills Children…
– Are There Any Milk Products Or By-products From China In Barbados Now?
– Have Any China Milk Products Been Imported To Barbados At Any Time?
– What Do You Intend To Do To Protect Bajans From The Continuing Threat From Contaminated Food & Drugs From China?
How many worldwide incidents of contaminated food from the People’s Republic of China does Barbados Minister of Health Dr. David Estwick need before he actually does something to ensure the safety of Bajans?
Barbados Government Should Ban Food Imports From China
News of the latest incident of melamine-poisoned China food products is just starting to break, and it looks like thousands of babies have been harmed by poisoned baby formula and milk powder. Melamine is a chemical used in plastics that was at the centre of a US recall of pet foods containing Chinese-made additives last year. One story by the Associated Press says that Chinese authorities and manufacturers knew about the contamination for many weeks and said nothing while babies died.
Reports say the contaminated baby formula and milk powder has been distributed and might even be on the shelves in Britain and the United States. Although some of the contaminated Chinese brands are known, what is not yet clear is whether any of the contaminated ingredients were shipped abroad to be used by manufacturers outside of China. (Breaking Sept 13/08 09:03am Bridgetown: Some bulk product was shipped abroad to Taiwan – from there, no one knows. So it looks like the original “assurance” from the Chinese Government that no contaminated bulk product was exported was false. No surprise there.)
We probably don’t know even the half of it and neither does Barbados Health Minister Estwick. And that is the key: Barbados Health Minister Estwick doesn’t know any more about this than does anyone else. The Chinese government certainly didn’t alert anybody about this latest incident, and even then they went into a mode of denial instead of immediately alerting the worldwide community so people could stop the harm.
“Made In China” Means “This Could Be Poison”
Let’s review what we have learned in the last few years about hazardous food, drug and manufactured products from China…
1/ China has a long history of scandals and incidents involving tainted food and pharmaceuticals. Likewise, hardly a week goes by that we don’t see another story of children’s toys or baby bibs containing high levels of lead or other deadly substances.
2/ The problem is not confined to products that are clearly marked as being “Made in China” as contaminated raw ingredients are often shipped in bulk to manufacturers on other continents including in North America and Europe.
3/ When another story breaks, the Chinese authorities exhibit a standard pattern of response that is slowly and reluctantly escalated as follows…
a/ Concealment of the problem by manufacturers, then government.
b/ Denial by government.
c/ Acknowledgment by government that there was a minor problem that was only local in scope.
d/ Where there are many deaths or extensive foreign news coverage, government makes a huge show of product recalls and announces an investigation. New inspection methods and routines are also announced.
e/ A “guilty” manufacturer or plant manager is quickly found, arrested and blamed for the event. He is usually executed within months, allowing the government to say “There. Fixed that. No more problem with contaminated food.”
f/ Everything goes back to normal until a month later when the next contaminated food or other health-related scandal erupts.
This is the standard pattern that we continue to see from China even though the incidents of contaminated food and drugs have risen dramatically in the last decade.
It is obvious that China lacks sufficient regulations and effective controls to ensure that their foods, drugs and other products are not hazardous. There is obviously a “wild west” atmosphere in Chinese manufacturing that their government has not been able to stop.
There is a price to be paid for cheap food from China and that price is paid by consumers all over the world – in deaths, illnesses and ruined health.
Barbados Minister of Health Dr. David Estwick knows that our country lacks the resources to test all shipments of human-consumables from China. Our population is at significant risk from dangerous and substandard made in China’s “wild west, anything goes” manufacturing environment.
In the absence of real changes in the quality of food and drugs from China, and considering our lack of ability to test products, and China’s history of cover-ups – Barbados should ban the importation of food and drugs from China, or products that were made with bulk ingredients from China.
Sept 13 2008 11:29 AM Bridgetown – AP: Chinese dairy knew milk fault weeks before recall
Sept 13 2008 12:00PM BST – Telegraph UK: Baby formula recall in China after infant death
Sept 13, 2008 6:49 AM (ET) – AP News (and photo above): 432 Babies Sick From Chinese Tainted Milk Product
Friday, 12 September 2008 07:47 UK – BBC News: China to punish baby milk makers
Sept 12, 2008 – (Walmart & August 8th Reference) Bloomberg: China Says Sanlu Milk Likely Contaminated by Melamine (Update1)