In the news recently we've been hearing a lot about problems with imports coming from China. Things like lead in paint on children's toys, toxic fillers in dog food, potentially toxic toothpaste, and more. And these are just a few of the things that we've actually heard about! Of course, China rejects the FDA claims that the toothpaste had problems, but that's China for you. Even the Taipei Times has criticized the Chinese media coverage of these scares saying
"This common story line of a US-driven plot to discredit China and Chinese products has run into difficulty, however, as Japan, the EU, certain Southeast Asian countries and even Hong Kong, a semiautonomous Chinese territory, have all announced tightened controls or stricter inspections of Chinese consumables".
I can't pretend that all this surprises me. While in China I heard about cheap lead put into meat to make it weigh more, therefore charging the client more money. Officials in South Korea even found 500 pounds of lead in blowfish imported from China in one week in 2000! Luckily though the U.S. is starting to put some pressure on China to clean up its act, and hopefully China will. After all, they don't want to damage their image too much before the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing which they are incredibly proud of, as was seen by the quick arrest and deportation of two protesting Canadians last week on the Great Wall.
More links to "The China Syndrome" from MSN Money, talking about pollution in China, Chinese Wal-Mart, and problems with China's super-heated economy. They've got an interesting article talking about how the levels of pollution actually negate all the growth the country claims.