So, first there was poisonous pet food. Next up is toothpaste found to contain a chemical used in anti-freeze and solvents. And now Thomas the Tank Engine toys are being recalled for being coated in lead paint, and toy eyeballs are recalled for being filled with kerosene. Data shows that not only has China produced one out of every 24 toys that are recalled, the countries exports account for 60% of all product recalls.
The regulatory body charged with enforcing product standards (Consumer Product Safety Commission) has been plagued by budget cuts and has far too few regulators to catch these problems before they hit store shelves (indeed, most recalls are voluntarily initiated by the importing companies themselves), and while toys in the US must meet minimum safety standards, ’all presale testing is voluntary‘.
While I’m a big believer in the thought that ‘the customer is always right’ is one of America’s biggest business mistakes (because of the culture it created), the single greatest mistake we’ve made as a country in regards to business was to let our manufacturing sector be offloaded to countries half a world away. In addition to short term problems like lack of quality control (let alone trusting Johnny Makes 30 Cents A Day with the safety of someone across the globe), we’ve destroyed an entire section of the economy that not only propped up a goodly section of the population, but was the backbone for our military might (re: World War II).
Note: There seems to be an issue with the scheduling functions of this site, so posts aren’t appearing when they are supposed to. (Meaning I have to manually make sure posts are appearing when they’re scheduled. I’m working on it, and apologize for the haphazardness of the normal posting schedule.