Saturday, June 02, 2007

This Just Pisses Me Off

Look, I don't expect Sadly, No! to be a bastion of scholarly discourse, that's not their job. Their job is to make fun of people for our entertainment, something at which they really excel. However, this is just stoopid:

Good lord:

Consumers were advised yesterday to discard all toothpaste made in China after federal health officials said they found Chinese-made toothpaste containing a poison used in some antifreeze in three locations: Miami, the Port of Los Angeles and Puerto Rico.

Although there are no reports of anyone being harmed by the toothpaste, the Food and Drug Administration warned that the Chinese products had a “low but meaningful risk of toxicity and injury” to children and people with kidney or liver disease.

The United States is the seventh country to find tainted Chinese toothpaste within its borders in recent weeks.

But hey, I’m sure the people paid to manufacture the toothpaste are working under slave labor conditions, so I guess it all evens out.

Uh, wait a minute…

The whole toothpaste debacle has nothing to do with globalization, unless by "globalization" you mean "letting other countries sell shit to us". Especially in light of the following:

Chinese regulators said Thursday that their investigation of toothpaste manufacturers there had found they had done nothing wrong. Chinese officials also said that while small amounts of diethylene glycol could be safely used in toothpaste, new controls would be imposed on its use in toothpaste.
and
Last month, after publicity over the poisoning deaths from the cold medicine, a consumer in Panama noticed that toothpaste in a store listed diethylene glycol as an ingredient and notified the authorities. Eventually it was traced to China, and since then countries around the world have been on the lookout for the product.
So there's a disagreement between China and the US over the use of the compound, and the toothpaste probably shouldn't have made it past customs. How, pray tell, does this in any way implicate globalization as a whole? Does the fact that some foreign products might not meet FDA standards mean that we should close our borders to all foreign imports? To borrow a phrase... "Sadly, No!".

This problem isn't limited to foreign imports; US companies have been having similar issues. Implying that this incident is somehow uniquely tied to the process of globalization is just a cheap swipe, nothing more. What's the alternative, closing our borders to imports 'cause they might taint our precious bodily fluids. Hello, xenophobic much? You really have to wonder, what with that comment about slave labor and all. Its pretty ignorant (in the least) to accuse a company of using slave labor just because it's Chinese.

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