Fool Me Once Shame On You, Fool Me 2,128 Times
Over the last year or so the “Chinese brand” has been under quite a bit of stress. From pet food contaminated with melamine to toys painted with lead paint the visibility of products manufactured in China with serious defects has been increasing. Most recently we have reports of a Chinese chemical manufacturing plant, unlicensed by the Chinese government for pharmaceutical manufacture and certified by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration in the mistaken understanding that it was a completely different plant, supplying heparin for Baxter
The FDA thought it had inspected the Chinese factory that makes the active ingredient in Baxter International’s heparin. Turns out the agency had actually inspected a plant with a similar sounding name.
“The wrong firm was put into the database,” an FDA official said yesterday, the Chicago Tribune reports. That blunder’s in the spotlight now because Baxter’s heparin, a blood thinning drug, has been tied to hundreds of adverse reactions in the last few months, including four deaths.
The FDA isn’t required by law to inspect foreign drug plants, and the agency lacks the resources to do so in any kind of comprehensive way. The agency said it inspected 250 foreign pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturers last year, 13 of which were in China [ed. out of some 700 facilities], according to the Tribune.
and a digital picture frame produced in China that contained a Trojan Horse that collected passwords for online games and who knows what all else
SEATTLE, Feb. 18 (UPI) — A powerful virus recently discovered in digital photo frames has been identified as a Chinese Trojan Horse that gathers personal information.
So far the Trojan Horse has simply collected passwords for online games, but experts say the designers might have larger targets in mind, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported Monday.
“It is a nasty worm that has a great deal of intelligence,” said Brian Grayek, who heads product development at Computer Associates, a security vendor that analyzed the Trojan Horse.
The virus, which has been named Mocmex, blocks ant-ivirus protection from more than 100 vendors, as well as the security and firewall built into Microsoft Windows. It spreads by hiding itself on photo frames and other portable storage devices that are plugged into an infected PC.
The Chinese government has itself said that it doesn’t have the ability to keep track of the hundreds of thousands or millions of companies in the country. Should our government be able to do so?
Last month alone the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued 38 product recalls and notices. Of these 21 were for products manufactured in China.
A certain number of problems, even a lot of problems, are understandable given the enormous variety and number of products manufactured in China that are on the shelves of American stores. But 3/5’s of all recalls sounds like a lot to me.
The last thing I am is anti-Chinese. The opposite, if anything. But, considering the lack of recourse for product defects for foreign-made products, particularly in food and pharmaceuticals which even the wariest consumer may have no way of telling where they were made, I really think it’s time that we implement a country of origin labelling law for foods and drugs that goes down to the ingredient level. If the market is to decide, the market needs to have the data to make an informed decision.