Saturday, May 03, 2008

Products from Orient Not Up to Snuff

Things aren’t made like they used to be. When I was a kid growing up, we had an old Black and Decker toaster, it must of lasted at least 12 or 15-years before toasting it’s last slice of bread. The toaster we replaced it with, also a Black and Decker, started to show signs of wear only after a couple of years.

Manufacturers have learned it is good to make things last – but if they last forever, they will lose money, because no one will need to buy their products anymore.

Not so with products which carry the infamous “Made in China” label. For many years, we’ve come to expect these products to not last as long as other products, but we get a cheaper product.

Problem is, that lack of concern for quality in the guise of a lower price has now become part of a dangerous trend, towards inferior products which have caused death.

Late last year, pet food made in China was recalled, because it contained anti-freeze in it. Hundreds of dogs and cats across North America died, because their owners opted for a cheap pet food. But some of the blame should be shouldered by the companies which farm out their products to factories in China – because they are the ones which are creating dangerous goods.

Yesterday, Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced two separate recalls, which again involve products from China that can kill you.

Health Canada announced a recall involving Chinese-made toys, which can harm our kids. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency made a recall for beef and beef products which have E. coli bacteria in it – also from China. E. coli can kill.

Many have petitioned the federal and provincial governments, asking for an outright ban on products from China. So far, our politicians haven’t had the guts to do the right thing – and ensure the public safety by banning Chinese-made goods.

But we are all consumers and we can take things into our own hands. By refusing to purchase products made in China, we protect the lives of our friends, our family and ourselves.

More often than not, you get what you pay for. Products from China are cheaper, but is cheaper good – when your life and those of the lives of the people you care about are at risk?

It is hard to find things which aren’t made in China. And in some cases we may never know. Something may be made in Canada, but have parts made in China. But at least if we try to avoid things which proudly advertise they are made in an inferior manufacturing environment, perhaps we will not panic, when the government announces yet another recall carrying the “Made in China” moniker.

You can also avoid buying products from companies that have factories in China. And you can also write your federal, provincial and municipal politicians. If we put enough pressure on them, maybe we can save lives.

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