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Sunday, August 19, 2007
(2:40 PM) | Stephen:
Here We Go Again

DMH Ingredients, based in Libertyville, IL, has filed a lawsuit against Changzhou Kelong Chemical Co. Ltd. because they found metal shavings in 11,000 kilograms of the artificial sweetener aspartame.

In New Zealand, they've found that kids' pajamas made in China have incredibly high levels of formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is used on clothes to make them "permanent press." New Zealand doesn't have any safety regulations for clothes, but the World Health Organization apparently considers anything over 20 parts per million to be unsafe. The European Union has set 30 parts per million as the upper limit allowed within those countries. The pajamas - for children, mind you, had formaldehyde levels of up to 18,000 ppm.

The article further says that buying clothes "made" in New Zealand isn't necessarily safe either, since the underlying fabric and materials might come from China and, in addition to the insane levels of formaldehyde, may have unsafe ph levels from the dyes used. Formaldehyde will wash off, but these other items will not.

Well, you get what you pay for. And the West has long pursued a policy of valuing cheap over quality and safety. But this is not to be laid solely or even mostly at consumers' feet, because we are not always told just where companies are getting the materials for the things we buy, and because most of the time the savings realized by exploiting nations without reasonable safety regulations and enforcement are turned into shareholder dividends and CEO bonuses, not into reduced prices for the products.

I still wonder if anything is ever going to come of the daily revelations of the deadly products that fill our stores, almost all of them made in China.

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