Daily Revolt

November 07, 2007

Chinese Made Toys Recalled for Date Rape Drug Contamination

This is totally shocking and unacceptable. Governments in the West are so beholden that they are willing to sacrifice the life and health of our children. It is their job to protect us from dangerous products being imported. This state of affairs is totally unacceptable:
Millions of Chinese-made toys for children have been pulled from shelves in North America and Australia after scientists found they contain a chemical that converts into a powerful date rape drug when ingested. Two children in the U.S. and three in Australia were hospitalized after swallowing the beads.

With only seven weeks until Christmas, the recall is yet another blow to the toy industry — already bruised by a slew of recalls this past summer.

[...]Scientists say a chemical coating on the beads, when ingested, metabolizes into the so-called date rape drug gamma hydroxy butyrate. When eaten, the compound — made from common and easily available ingredients — can induce unconsciousness, seizures, drowsiness, coma and death.

Naren Gunja from Australia's Poisons Information Center said the drug's effect on children was "quite serious ... and potentially life-threatening."

The recall was announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission on Wednesday several hours after published reports about the recall in Australia.

The two U.S. children who swallowed Aqua Dot beads went into nonresponsive comas, commission spokesman Scott Wolfson said Wednesday afternoon.

Are we going to wait to happen what occurred in Panama with poisoned toothpaste. This Times article is from May:
Diethylene glycol, a poisonous ingredient in some antifreeze, has been found in 6,000 tubes of toothpaste in Panama, and customs officials there said yesterday that the product appeared to have originated in China.

[...]Diethylene glycol is the same poison that the Panamanian government inadvertently mixed into cold medicine last year, killing at least 100 people. Records show that in that episode the poison, falsely labeled as glycerin, a harmless syrup, also originated in China.

The blame should not be limited to the government, U.S. companies have been turning a blind eye to what has been happening with Chinese imports for years:
As many more U.S. companies outsource their production base to China, their poor oversight there is exposing American consumers to greater safety risks, according to some industry experts.

No doubt, the recent spate of product recalls - melamine-tainted pet food, toothpaste laced with anti-freeze and now Mattel-branded toys made with lead paint - all were made in Southern China's low-cost manufacturing hub that's notorious for its lax regulations.

Nevertheless, industry experts say U.S. importers that do business with these factories are more to blame than even their Chinese suppliers for allowing those unsafe products to enter the U.S. marketplace.

"U.S. law is pretty clear. The importer is responsible for quality and safety of good imported into the country," said Erin Ennis, vice president with the U.S.-China Business Council. "But the Chinese can absolutely do more to prevent safety issues."

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