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    Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party, the Epochtimes
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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘medical’ Category

China factory closed amid lead poisoning fears- at least 88 children tested positive

Posted by Author on March 15, 2010

AFP, Mar. 15, 2010-

BEIJING — Authorities in southwestern China have closed a factory after nearly 100 people — most of them children — tested positive for lead poisoning, state media said Monday.

A total of 94 people in Sichuan province, including 88 children, were found to have excessive levels of lead in their blood and officials suspect a nearby factory may be at fault, the province’s news website reported.

Seven children — the youngest of which is just over one year old — are being treated in hospital and the others are being monitored at home.

Local officials said a preliminary investigation had revealed a firm making lead out of used batteries — Longchang Zhongyi Alloy Company — could be the cause of the health scare.

It was not immediately clear how the residents were poisoned but officials are currently testing surface and well water, vegetables and soil within 800 metres of the plant.

It is the latest in a series of lead poisoning incidents across China that has highlighted the human cost of pollution in a nation that has so far prioritised economic growth over environmental protection.

Last year, authorities in central Henan province said they would relocate 15,000 people away from smelting plants in one area after nearly 1,000 children tested positive for lead poisoning.

Excessive levels of lead are considered hazardous particularly to children, who can experience stunted growth and even mental retardation……. (more details from AFP)

Posted in Children, China, Environment, Health, Life, medical, News, People, pollution, Sichuan, Social, SW China, World | Comments Off on China factory closed amid lead poisoning fears- at least 88 children tested positive

Worst firm award won by Swiss drugs company Roche over organ transplant in China

Posted by Author on January 27, 2010

AFP, Jan. 27, 2010-

DAVOS, Switzerland — The Royal Bank of Canada and Swiss drugs giant Roche won the dubious honour Wednesday of an award for the worst firms for the environment and social responsibility, announced in Davos.

The Canadian bank received the prize for being the “largest financier of environmentally as well as socially disastrous oil sands extraction in the Canadian province of Alberta,” said ecological group Greenpeace and Swiss non-governmental organisation Berne Declaration.

Roche meanwhile won the “People’s Award,” having received the most votes from the public over its organ transplant studies in China, where over 90 percent of all transplanted organs originated from prisoners, said organisers.

“Roche cannot and will not confirm the origins of some 300 organs used for its trials,” organisers said, during the awards at the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos.

Contacted by AFP, the Swiss group said it conducted drug trials of its Cellcept medication on patients in China, but that it did not have the right to know the origins of the organs, a spokeswoman said.

“The problem (of executions) has been known for several years and we are working to improve the situation” such that the Chinese authorities would conform to international norms in the issue of organ donations, she added……. (more details from AFP)

Posted in Business, China, Company, Health, Human Rights, medical, News, Organ transplant, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on Worst firm award won by Swiss drugs company Roche over organ transplant in China

Speech: Responsible Engagement With China (5)- “Non consenting parties”

Posted by Author on January 26, 2010

Hon. David Kilgour, J.D., German-American Institute, Heidelberg, Germany, 11 January 2010 – (cont’d)

<< prvious

Sourcing of organs from prisoners is done without their consent. Deputy Health Minister Huang Jiefu in Guangzhou in November 2006 said in a speech, “too often organs come from non consenting parties”. At the time of the announcement of an organ donor pilot project, Huang indicated that executed prisoners “are definitely not a proper source for organ transplants”. This principle, that prisoners are not an acceptable source for organs, is followed by the Transplantation Society and the World Medical Association. So what is the rule of law world going to do about the party-state’s abuse of global transplant ethics? Our report and book have a long list of recommendations, but, given the shortness of time, I’ll mention here only two.

One is extraterritorial legislation. The 2007 policy giving priority to Chinese patients has cut down on transplant tourism to China, but such legislation would be a useful statement of universal principle. The sorts of transplants in which the Chinese medical system engages are illegal everywhere else in the world. But it is not illegal for a foreigner from any country to go to China, obtain a transplant which would be illegal at home, and then return home. Foreign transplant legislation everywhere is territorial; it has no extraterritorial reach. Many other laws are global in their sweep. For instance, child sex tourists can be prosecuted not just in the country where they abuse children, but often at home as well. This sort of legislative sanction does not exist for transplant tourists who pay for organ transplants without bothering to determine whether the organ donor has consented.

A second recommendation is that any person known to be involved in trafficking in the organs of prisoners in China should be barred entry by all foreign countries. (to be cont’d)

-From David Kilgour website:

Posted in all Hot Topic, China, Crime against humanity, Health, Human Rights, Law, medical, News, Organ harvesting, Organ transplant, Social, World | 1 Comment »

Members of Nobel Committees investigated for China trip corruption

Posted by Author on December 20, 2008

AFP, Via The Sydney Morning Herald, December 20, 2008 –

Several Nobel science prize committees in Sweden are being investigated for possible corruption.

The first case involves several members from the Nobel committees for medicine, physics and chemistry who visited China at the expense of the Chinese authorities.

A special prosecutor, Nils Erik Schultz, said he was looking into the cost of the trip, the itinerary, who went and why the Chinese invited them. No Chinese citizen has won a Nobel Prize for the past three years.

Another investigation involves the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which this year signed a sponsor agreement with two Nobel companies with close ties to the Nobel Foundation: Nobel Web and Nobel Media.

The Times reported yesterday that a member of the jury also sat on AstraZeneca’s board. Prosecutors are studying whether the multinational pharmaceutical company could have exerted undue influence on this year’s Nobel Prize in medicine.

Half of this year’s award went to Harald zur Hausen of Germany for his discovery of the human papilloma virus that causes cervical cancer. AstraZeneca receives royalties for two vaccines against HPV.

Agence France-Presse

Posted in China, Europe, Health, medical, News, scandals, World | Tagged: | Comments Off on Members of Nobel Committees investigated for China trip corruption

EU bans China soy products for infants and children, industrial chemical found

Posted by Author on December 4, 2008

Reuters via The Guardian, UK, Wednesday, December 3 2008 –

BRUSSELS, Dec 3 (Reuters) – European Union regulators have banned imports of Chinese soy-based food products for infants and young children after an industrial chemical was found in Chinese soybean meal, the EU executive said on Wednesday.

The chemical, melamine, is used in pesticides and plastics. Some months ago, it was the focus of a scandal over milk products that saw several thousands of children fall ill.

Rich in nitrogen, melamine is fairly cheap and can be added to substandard or watered-down milk to fool quality checks, which often use nitrogen to measure protein levels in milk. “Competent authorities in the (EU) member states will have to test all other feed and food containing soya and soya products originating from China before allowing imports,” the European Commission said in a statement.

Only feed and food containing under 2.5 milligrams of melamine per kilogram will be allowed into EU markets. The ban is expected to come into force by the end of this week.

All Chinese consignments of baking powder, or ammonium bicarbonate, will also be tested at EU points of entry after high levels of melamine were found, the statement added.

Last year, the EU imported around 68,000 tonnes of various soy products or products containing soy for a total value of some 34 million euros ($43 million). The imports include soybeans, soybean flour and meal, soya sauce and protein concentrates as well as textured protein substances. The EU has already banned imports of milk and milk products from China, as well as all products originating from China for infants and young children that contain any proportion of milk.

Although the EU does not import milk or milk products from China, the Commission is concerned that composite food products that enter EU markets might contain, or be made from, such items — like biscuits and confectionery, especially chocolate.

EU countries are also obliged to test processed food from China that contains powdered milk.

– The Guardian: EU bans China infant food containing soy products

Posted in Business, China, Economy, Europe, Food, Health, Law, Life, Made in China, medical, News, products, Tainted Products, Trade, World | Comments Off on EU bans China soy products for infants and children, industrial chemical found

French farm finds 30 times higher level melamine in China-made soymeal

Posted by Author on November 29, 2008

The Canadian Press, 28 Nov 2008 –

NANTES, France — A French farm co-operative says that it imported 270 tonnes of melamine-contaminated soymeal from China.

Melamine is an industrial chemical that has been blamed for killing at least three babies and making 50,000 others ill in China through tainted infant formula.

Christophe Courrouce, spokesman for the Terrena co-operative, says tests conducted on the soymeal imported in October found levels of melamine up to 30 times the maximum level authorized by sanitary authorities.

He says the soymeal was used to produce feed for organic poultry, but that tests on animals revealed no contamination.

Terrena has withdrawn 800 tonnes of soymeal that came into contact with the contaminated pellets and suspended all soy imports from China.

– The Canadian Press: French farm co-operative imports melamine-contaminated Chinese soymeal

Posted in Business, China, Company, Economy, Europe, Food, Health, Life, Made in China, medical, News, products, Tainted Products, Trade, World | Comments Off on French farm finds 30 times higher level melamine in China-made soymeal

China Vet Exposes Toxins in Food Supply

Posted by Author on November 24, 2008

By Xin Fei, Epoch Times Staff, Nov 23, 2008 –

Ms. Wang Haizhen, a vet from Hebei Animal Pharmaceutical Co., exposes corruption within the industry. (The Epoch Times)

Ms. Wang Haizhen, a vet from Hebei Animal Pharmaceutical Co., exposes corruption within the industry. (The Epoch Times)

Ms. Wang Haizhen, a veterinarian from the Hebei Province Animal Pharmaceutical Co, recently went public with information exposing corruption in China’s food industry.

According to her, as early as 2005, several toxic substances including melamine were detected in some animal feed, resulting in contaminated milk powder, eggs, and pork having entered the food market and harming consumers. She said after the Sanlu Company’s contaminated baby formula incident, many other companies in the area have still been using chemicals such as the known carcinogen iodized rhodium protein, which is more dangerous than melamine.

Wang’s husband was arrested a few years ago for contacting the authorities in regards to contaminated animal feed. When the Sanlu incident occurred, she made the decision to not only continue appealing for her husband’s release but also follow in his footsteps by appealing for the people.

Wrongfully Imprisoned

Gao Songlin, Wang’s husband, was a sales manager for the Feilong Company, a subsidiary of the Hebei Animal Pharmaceutical Co. In 2005, Gao discovered that certain banned substances were being used in the formulas for some animal feed the company had been producing.  Much of this feed was already distributed, which means counterfeit drugs and toxic feed additives had already entered the market and contaminated the animal husbandry in some areas. This later led to the subsequent emergence of contaminated milk powder, eggs, and pork.

Gao was shocked by all this. He made arrangements to speak with An Diajin, the head of the legal department of the company in an effort to have the toxic substances removed from the animal feed formula. Gao also reported it to the Ministry of Agriculture several times. A month after the seizure of the company, An Dianjin falsely accused Gao of embezzlement. What should have been a civil case turned into a criminal case without a criminal investigation. Gao was arrested and sentenced to four years in prison.

Wang said, “The accusations are entirely false!”

Wang remarked that authorities had long since been aware of the presence of toxic substances in animal feed and its harmful effects but did their best to keep it quiet. She said they failed to take any preventive measures, and in order to protect their own best interests, they retaliated against the whistleblower.

“When my husband said he would report it, the person from the Pharmaceutical Company said, ‘Go ahead! Many of our men are the authorities.”

Toxic Materials Still Being Used

According to Wang, Hebei is the largest manufacturing base in China. It contains several large animal pharmaceutical companies for food additives, animal feed and animal pharmaceuticals. The Feilong Animal Pharmaceutical Company is one of them.

Wang said, although the Feilong Company was closed, it quickly changed its name and went on with business. Its plant and employees never changed. Just like the Sanlu Company, it changed its name and went right on with business.

According to Wang, a lot of manufacturers are still using melamine even after the Sanlu Scandal was exposed. Besides melamine, they also add large doses of Rh proteins, Lipiodol, Clenbuterol, attractant agents, just to name a few, to get the effect of accelerating the growth rate of animals. But the chemicals and toxic materials they are adding can easily have carcinogenic effects. Some of these additives are more dangerous than melamine.

She reported that in Hebei alone, there are several hundred companies like this. Besides these, there are several thousand unregistered companies. There are many cases like these in other parts of the country.

According to Wang, people on the inside know all the dirty tricks. Therefore they are usually very careful when it comes to eating meat. Consuming meat containing these additives on a long-term basis can lead to serious health consequences. Higher cancer rates nowadays are directly associated with eating contaminated meat.

She said it’s a secret trick of the trade to avoid meat as much as possible……. (more details from The Epochtimes)

Posted in Business, China, Company, corruption, Economy, Food, Health, Hebei, Law, Life, Made in China, medical, medicine, News, North China, People, products, Social, Tainted Products, Women, World | Comments Off on China Vet Exposes Toxins in Food Supply

Timeline: China milk scandal (till Nov. 14, 2008)

Posted by Author on November 17, 2008

BBC News, 14 November 2008-

Dangerously high levels of the industrial chemical melamine have been found in powdered baby milk and other dairy products in China, sparking worldwide safety concerns. The BBC looks at how the saga unfolded.

10 Sept: China reveals that 14 babies fell ill in Gansu province over the previous two months. All drank the same brand of milk powder. Cases start being reported around China.

12 Sept:
Sanlu Group admits that its milk powder was contaminated with the toxic chemical melamine.

13 Sept: Production halts at Sanlu Group. Nineteen people are arrested.

15 Sept: Beijing confirms two babies have died. Vice-President of the Sanlu Group apologises to the public.

19 Sept:
Melamine is found in ordinary milk from three well-known dairies. One of the firms involved – Mengniu dairy – recalls all its products.

22 Sept: Toll of ill babies rises to 53,000, and the death toll to at least four. The head of China’s quality watchdog resigns, becoming the first national leader to step down because of the scandal.

23 Sept: Countries across Asia start to either test Chinese dairy products or pull them from shops.

26 Sept: The EU bans Chinese baby food with milk traces. Sales of the popular sweet White Rabbit are halted after tests detect melamine.

29 Sept: Cadbury recalls products in Asia after tests find traces of melamine. Reports say 22 people have been arrested in Hebei province, suspected of introducing melamine into the supply chain.

15 Oct: Nearly 6,000 infants remain in hospital across China for kidney diseases. Six are in a serious condition.

21 Oct: About 1,500 racoon dogs bred for their fur on a farm in China die of kidney failure after eating feed tainted with melamine.

23 Oct: Six more people are arrested in connection with the tainted milk scandal.

26 Oct: Hong Kong authorities discover eggs produced by Dalian Hanwei Group’s eggs contain melamine. They are pulled off the shelves.

30 Oct: Two more egg brands from Shanxi and Hubei provinces are found to contain melamine.

31 Oct: State media admit that melamine is probably being routinely added to Chinese animal feed.

2 Nov: A Chinese official insists the egg scandal is an individual case and clamps down on illegal producers of feed.

14 Nov: The US issues a nationwide “import alert” for Chinese-made food products.

BBC News, 14 November 2008

Posted in Asia, Business, Children, China, Economy, Food, Health, Law, Life, Made in China, medical, medicine, News, People, products, Social, Tainted Products, Trade, USA, World | Comments Off on Timeline: China milk scandal (till Nov. 14, 2008)

All China Dairy Food Held Up at U.S. Border

Posted by Author on November 16, 2008

The Washington Post, Nov. 14, 2008-

The Food and Drug Administration has begun stopping imports of Chinese dairy and dairy-based products from entering the country in an effort to keep out food contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine.

Melamine is the chemical at the heart of the Chinese infant formula scandal that has killed at least two infants and sickened more than 50,000. Scraps of melamine, which is used to make plastic and fertilizer, were added to milk as a way of boosting the milk’s protein content in order to pass quality tests. The same thing was done with wheat gluten, which was then used to make pet food and sparked a wave of recalls last year after thousands of pets died.

FDA officials, who had been spot checking markets for melamine-tainted foods and recalling select products, said they expanded their import advisory in part because of intelligence from overseas counterparts.

No need to panic and throw out all the food in your house that is made with milk powder, at least not yet.

Under the hold and test policy initiated Thursday, FDA stops products at the border, then requires the importer to test it and prove it doesn’t have melamine before allowing it to be distributed

As for the rest of the food chain, when the infant formula scandal broke in China this fall, FDA sent out people to check Asian markets around the country for Chinese-made infant formula and were happy to have found none. They also checked with infant formula makers in the United States who assured them they don’t source dairy ingredients from China. Since then, FDA has continued to check markets for products that might contain melamine and some products have been recalled.

FDA officials said they are acting even though they’ve determined that the chance of adverse health effects from ingesting melamine in finished food products is low.

The kinds of foods that are being held include: cheese, soft candy, cat and dog food, and something called iodinated casein–an additive used to iboost milk-giving in cows. (What pantry is complete without it?)

You can read the full import alert here.

The Washington Post

Posted in Business, China, Economy, Food, Health, Life, Made in China, medical, News, products, Tainted Products, Trade, USA, World | 1 Comment »

Tainted and Fake Medicine Made In China A Big Safety Concern, FDA Unable to Fully Inspect

Posted by Author on November 9, 2008

By GARDINER HARRIS, New York Times, USA, October 31, 2008-

In the belly of an industrial district south of Lyon, France, just past a sulfurous oil refinery and a synthetic vanilla plant, sits a run-down, eight-story factory that makes aspirin, the first pharmaceutical blockbuster. The Lyon factory is the last of its kind. No other major facility in Europe or the United States makes generic aspirin anymore. The market has been taken over by low-cost Chinese producers. Even Bayer, the German company that created aspirin in the 1890s and has fought for more than a century to distinguish its product as the most trustworthy one, now has backup supplies from China.

The Lyon plant is owned by a French chemical giant named Rhodia that has been making aspirin since 1908 and still accounts for more than 25 percent of the world’s aspirin market. But now a century after its entry into the business, the company intends to quit making aspirin altogether. The plant was last renovated in 1992, and it would need an upgrade to continue operating, an investment the company can no longer justify in what has become a cutthroat business. In fact, Rhodia is closing another factory about 40 miles to the south. This one makes the painkiller acetaminophen, which is found in Tylenol. It, too, is the last such facility in Western Europe.

In some ways, this is a nonevent. European factories close; Chinese ones open. Consumers like their commodities cheap, in the case of aspirin as with everything else. China now produces about two-thirds of all aspirin and is poised to become the world’s sole global supplier in the not-too-distant future.

But are the Chinese factories safe? Who knows? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the European Medicines Agency and other competent government regulators rarely, if ever, inspect them. (By contrast, Rhodia’s plant was last inspected by the F.D.A. in July and is routinely inspected by one country or another.) Companies that import Chinese pharmaceutical ingredients, including aspirin, are required to test the supplies before using them, and some send private inspectors to China to ensure that suppliers use adequate controls. No pharmaceutical maker wants its name to become synonymous with disaster, and the vast majority of drugs that are consumed in the United States are safe. But some industry executives told me that price sensitivity in the generics industry makes it more difficult to fully vet their low-cost suppliers.

In China, where thousands of drug manufacturers sell products in the local markets, profit margins are razor thin, and counterfeiting and contamination are common. In 2002, the Pharmaceutical Association, a Chinese trade group, estimated that as much as 8 percent of over-the-counter drugs sold in China are counterfeit. Contaminated products extend beyond drugs, as was made tragically clear this fall when four Chinese babies died and 53,000 were sickened by melamine, a toxic chemical illegally added to watered-down baby formula to artificially increase the protein count and fool quality tests.

Though no melamine-tainted baby formula from China was found in the United States, it has shown up in other countries. This is the latest in a series of food- and drug-safety scandals. China has in recent years exported poisonous toothpaste, deadly dog food, toys made with lead paint and tainted fish. In one infamous example this spring, Chinese manufacturers substituted a cheap fake for the dried pig intestines used to make the drug heparin, which is given to dialysis and surgery patients to prevent blood clotting. As deaths among those taking the drug mounted, the F.D.A. discovered the taint and banned the contaminated drug. In the end, 81 people may have died from allergic reactions, and tens of thousands around the world were exposed to danger. F.D.A. officials admitted that the agency should never have approved the Chinese-made heparin for sale in the United States; the agency, it turned out, had never inspected the Chinese plant making it.

Concerns about Chinese drugs have become so intense that just three weeks ago, the Health and Human Services secretary, Michael O. Leavitt, announced that the F.D.A. would open an office in Beijing by the end of the year and offices in Shanghai and Guangzhou next year. The agency still plans to send inspectors to China from the U.S., but the offices will provide “an infrastructure that will make those people more effective,” Leavitt said at the time of the announcement.

China’s leap to one of the biggest suppliers of pharmaceutical ingredients in the world happened over the last decade, as the Chinese government subsidized the construction of manufacturing plants that have undercut prices everywhere. Generic drug makers in the United States, where price competition is fierce, were the first to seek cheaper drug ingredients in China. Last year, generic drug applications to the F.D.A. listed 1,154 plants providing active pharmaceutical ingredients: 43 percent of them were in China, and another 39 percent were in India. Only 13 percent were in the United States. Branded drug makers, with their fatter profit margins, resisted buying ingredients from China for years, but with their businesses now suffering, even major pharmaceutical companies like AstraZeneca, Bayer, Baxter and Pfizer have announced deals to outsource manufacturing to China.

I have been writing about the drug industry for more than a decade, but I have rarely written about a subject that both branded and generic drug makers wanted to discuss less. Nearly all of the industry executives who spoke for this article did so anonymously. Even the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, a normally loquacious trade group, was largely silent on the issue. Not one of them, it seems, wants to talk too much about the difficulty of regulating factories across several times zones, 6,000 miles and a vast linguistic and cultural divide.

The F.D.A. regulates more than $1 trillion worth of consumer goods, which amounts to about 25 cents of every consumer dollar spent in this country. This includes $466 billion in food sales, $275 billion in drugs, $60 billion in cosmetics and $18 billion in vitamin supplements. The agency is responsible for monitoring a third of all imported goods, from eggplant to eyeliner, microwave ovens to monoclonal antibodies, slaughterhouses to cellphones. But with fewer than 500 import inspectors and computer systems so old that repairmen must be called out of retirement to fix them, the agency is increasingly beset by a sense of futility.

Even the F.D.A.’s staunchest defenders now acknowledge that something is terribly wrong. Among them is Peter Barton Hutt, who served as the agency’s general counsel during the Nixon administration and is widely considered the dean of the F.D.A. bar in Washington. I’ve interviewed Hutt dozens of times over the years, and he has always defended the F.D.A. No more. “This is a fundamentally broken agency,” Hutt told me earlier this year, “and it needs to be repaired.”

The breakdown is not simply about money. This summer 1,442 people around the country were sickened by tainted tomatoes — or possibly jalepeño peppers. Such scares have become familiar, and the inability to quickly find the sources of contamination has been one of the agency’s signal failures. A 2002 law requires produce processors and distributors to keep track of where food goes and comes from, but the government has yet to mandate standardized record-keeping. As a result, in response to a scare, investigators must pour over a blizzard of contradictory packing slips and incompatible computer programs as they race to save people.

To ensure the safety of imported drugs, the F.D.A. relies almost entirely on its own inspections of foreign plants. This was not much of a problem 30 years ago, when most medical products consumed in the United States were made here and F.D.A. inspectors could drive around to plants in their district. Most of those plants have since moved abroad, and now decades can pass between inspections. Testifying before Congress in April, Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the F.D.A.’s drug center, spoke with rare frankness about the ability of the agency to do its job abroad. “The F.D.A. of the last century is not configured to regulate this century’s globalized pharmaceutical industry,” she testified.

Other current and former F.D.A. officials I talked to echoed Woodcock’s warning. Tim Wells, who was a field investigator and then a compliance officer for 24 years at the F.D.A., now does private audits of drug plants and sees the holes in the agency’s safety net. “A company I recently visited abroad hasn’t been inspected for 10 years,” he told me.

Besides being more frequent, domestic inspections are unannounced and more intense. And when inspectors find dangerous conditions at domestic plants, they generally return promptly to ensure that those conditions get fixed. Not so in foreign plants. In a report released Oct. 22, government auditors reported that between 2002 and 2007, F.D.A. inspectors found dangerous conditions in 15 foreign plants. Only one of those plants was reinspected within two years, the auditors found. In every other case, the agency took foreign managers at their word that promised changes were made.

The record is particularly bad in China. Over the past six years, the F.D.A. has managed to inspect annually an average of just 15 of the 714 Chinese drug plants that export to the United States. At its present pace, the F.D.A. would need more than 50 years to visit all of these Chinese plants. By contrast, the F.D.A. inspects domestic drug plants every 2.7 years.

Inspectors volunteer for the grueling overseas assignments, and, it turns out, they don’t much like traveling to parts of Asia. “I went to Taiwan once, and after initially spending a night in a very nice hotel, I was transferred several hours by car to a hotel closer to the plant,” recalls DeVaughn Edwards, who worked as an F.D.A. inspector for 14 years until he left in 2006. “The bed consisted of two mattresses on the floor. There was no lock on the door. You had to hope that no one came in. It was dark; there were no amenities, no TV that worked. There was a shared restroom down the hall. It was only one night there, but it was enough to make you not want to revisit the plant or spend too much time there.”

When inspectors do go to China, their reports sometimes read like a bureaucratic rendering of Mark Twain’s “Innocents Abroad.” During a 2001 trip, for example, two F.D.A. inspectors visited a plant that was exporting acetaminophen to the United States. The plant had never been inspected. “The F.D.A. inspection team was met at the hotel in Wenzhou by representatives from Wenzhou No. 3 Pharmaceutical Factory and . . . transported by public ferry and then company vehicle to the manufacturing facility on Dong Tou Island off the coast of Wenzhou,” their report states. “There is no street address or plot number, and the address of the facility is given only by the county and province.”

Once the team arrived in what seemed like the middle of nowhere, the inspectors learned the drug was being manufactured at another plant — one that once had a similar name but had recently changed it. “In fact,” the report continues, “inspection found that there were initially three separate and independent firms operating under the names Wenzhou No. 1 Pharmaceutical Factory, Wenzhou No. 2 Pharmaceutical Factory and Wenzhou No. 3 Pharmaceutical Factory. The location of Wenzhou No. 1 Pharmaceutical Factory was also determined by the F.D.A. inspection team during the visit to Wenzhou, and it was learned that the firm is operating under a new Chinese name; however, the English translation of that name was not available.” So the two inspectors flew back to the

United States — at taxpayers’ expense — never having inspected a thing.

The F.D.A.’s apparent inability to keep names straight is no trivial matter. One reason the agency failed to inspect the Changzhou plant that produced deadly heparin, for instance, was that someone mixed up the facility’s name and concluded that the plant had already been inspected. Chinese plant names, a vestige of its once strictly controlled economy, are often very similar, and translations can vary. For instance, there are 57 separate drug master files — the basic F.D.A. record of a plant’s name, location and approved product — with “Shanghai” in the name. Some are obvious repeats, like the ones for “Shanghai No. 6 Pharmaceutical Factory” and “Shanghai Number 6 Pharmaceutical Factory.” But others could be separate plants. Or maybe not. It’s just too hard to tell.

Compounding the problem is the F.D.A.’s antiquated technology. Its computer systems are so awful that officials have no way of knowing which names, or which plants, are real. To determine which factories need to be inspected, agency investigators must consult two incompatible databases, one of which lists 3,000 foreign drug plants exporting to the United States and the other 6,800. Which number is right? Nobody really knows. Officials have told House investigators that their best guess for the number of foreign drug plants exporting to the United States is 2,967, while the Government Accountability Office recently guessed 3,249. Neither can the agency tell in many cases when the plants were last inspected (or, more important, which have never been inspected), where they are located or what products they make……. (more details from The NewYork Times: The Safety Gap)

Alarming: Tainted Food = Terrorism ?

Posted in Asia, Business, China, Company, Counterfeit, Economy, Food, Health, Law, Life, Made in China, medical, medicine, News, People, products, Social, Tainted Products, USA, World | 1 Comment »

Melamine found in China Animal Feed

Posted by Author on November 6, 2008

NTDTV, 04 Nov 2008-

After a massive inspection of animal feed manufacturers, China’s Agricultural Ministry has confiscated and destroyed over 36 hundred tons of melamine-contaminated feed.

The Ministry shut down 238 animal feed producers for illegal activity, says China’s state-run media.

CCN reports that an investigation published in the state-run Nanfang Daily revealed that adding melamine to animal feed has become an “open secret.” It says the aquatic farming industry in China started using melamine to boost protein level readings five years ago, and it’s spread to other industries since then.

Despite the Chinese regime’s reassurance that the tainted animal feed problem is marginal, there is a growing concern among global companies about melamine in China’s exports.

Several weeks ago, the contaminant was found in exported biscuits and candy, and most recently in eggs. Melamine-contaminated milk has caused at least four infant deaths and sickened over 50 thousand children in China.

– NTDTV: Inspectors Discover Melamine in Animal Feed

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Watch Out Melamine For Children’s Halloween Candies From China

Posted by Author on November 2, 2008

by Jane Akre, The Injury Board, USA, Thursday, October 30, 2008-

Consumers might want to check their children’s candies this Halloween following an alert from Canada about melamine-tainted chocolates from China.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an alert for some candy and foods made in China and says it is taking aggressive action to inspect food, candy and other imports from China. (see list below)

However, this past summer FDA inspectors had little luck in tracking down the source of salmonella and E. coli contaminations due to a shortage of inspectors.

Some candy made by Chinese makers and distributed through Costco in Canada has been found to contain melamine, among them, Sherwood’s Milk Chocolate Pirate’s Gold Coins made in China.

On October 8, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, CFIA issued a warning for “The public not to consume, distribute, or sell the Sherwood Brands Pirate’s Gold Milk Chocolate Coins described below. This product is being recalled due to positive test results for melamine conducted by the CFIA.”

In fact, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a warning about the chocolate coins, “sold in 840g containers containing 240 pieces per container bearing UPC 0 36077 11240 7 and lot code 1928S1.”

“This product is sold nationally through Costco stores and may also have been sold in bulk packages or as individual pieces at various dollar and bulk stores across Canada.”

Sherwood Brands, based in Rockville, Maryland, also makes lollipops, bubble gum and other confections made in China which say “may contain milk”.  The company has not returned media calls.

Not recalling the Sherwood candy has angered Food & Water Watch. The nonprofit group lobbyist, Tony Corbo told the Akron Beacon Journal, “We don’t think the FDA has acted quickly enough.”

The National Confectioners Association reports that less than one percent of candies sold in the U.S. are imported from China.

Naturally, candy makers in the U.S. are nervous and many have posted reassuring statements. Hershey’s says the company has “never purchased any milk ingredients from China” in a recorded message.

Mars says it has tested its Snickers and M&M’s in Indonesia and found them free of melamine.

The FDA says it has broadened its domestic and import sampling and testing of milk-derived ingredients and finished foods with milk from Chinese sources.

The FDA “has recommended that consumers not consume certain products because of possible contamination with melamine.”   See the list below.

Thousands of Chinese children have been injured from the industrial chemical, melamine, which was folded into milk that makes baby formula to artificially inflate the protein count.  Chronic exposure can lead to kidney failure, reproductive damage, bladder or kidney stones.

In the U.S., there is no known threat to infant formula since the U.S. does not import formula from China.

The exception might be among members of the Asian communities in the U.S. even though the FDA says no Chinese manufacturer of infant formula has met the requirements to sell in the U.S.

Melamine has been found not just in milk powder, but also in pet food which led to the deaths of hundreds of U.S. animals.

On the internet, Mike Mozart, calls himself a product designer who reviews development in the toy industry.  He says as much as 20 million pounds of food manufactured in China were imported into the U.S. this year. He claims he’s found candy manufactured in China with milk powder widely being sold in US stores and has produced a video on Youtube.

(When in doubt of internet rumors check out the web site and

The FDA is advising consumers not to consume the following products because of possible melamine contamination:

  • Koala’s March Crème filled Cookies
  • YILI Brand Sour Milk Drink
  • YILI Brand Pure Milk Drink
  • Blue Cat Flavored Drinks
  • White Rabbit Candies
  • Mr. Brown Mandehling Blend Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
  • Mr. Brown Arabica Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
  • Mr. Brown Blue Mountain Blend Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
  • Mr. Brown Caramel Macchiato Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
  • Mr. Brown French Vanilla Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
  • Mr. Brown Mandheling Blend instant Coffee (2-in-1)
  • Mr. Brown Milk Tea (3-in-1)
  • Infant formula manufactured in China

The Injury Board

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Melamine Detected First Time In Egg Powder From China in Japan

Posted by Author on October 17, 2008

The Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan, Oct. 17, 2008-

Melamine was found in powdered dried whole eggs imported from China, Mitsui & Co. announced Thursday, marking the first time the toxic chemical has been found in Chinese egg products in Japan.

The Tokyo-based trading company said that it found 2.8 to 4.6 parts per million of melamine in the product. The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry instructed importers of Chinese eggs to conduct thorough voluntary tests because the amount of melamine detected is above 2.5 ppm, the threshold for a voluntary recall.

No health problems have been reported, the ministry said.

According to Mitsui & Co., the powdered dried whole eggs were produced by Dalian Hanovo Foods Co. in Dalian, Liaoning Province. The trading company imported about 20 tons of the product on Sept. 1 and later sold the entire amount to Q.P. Egg Corp, a subsidiary of the major food company Q.P. Corp.

About 400 kilograms of the product were then sold to a bakery, and has likely already been used to make sweet buns.

Mitsui & Co. said it was informed by the Chinese company on Oct. 6 that melamine had been detected in feed for its chickens. The trading company then found melamine in all the three samples from eggs powder it imported from the company.

Q.P. Egg tested four types of sweet bun products at the bakery, but the toxic substance was not detected in them.

Dalian Hanovo Foods is one of the largest makers of egg products in China and has a farm with about 3 million chickens and production facilities in the city.

“We’re aware of melamine problems, but didn’t think about [possible contamination in] feed for chickens,” a Mitsui & Co. representative said. “Our risk judgment was insufficient.”

Dried whole eggs, which are made from powdered dried yolks and egg whites, are used in making bread and noodles. They also are used to flavor and color confectionary. The product can be stored longer than raw eggs. Almost all powdered egg distributed in the Japanese market is imported. In fiscal 2007, 3,368 tons were imported to Japan–2,303 tons from the United States, the largest supplier, and 265 tons from China, the third-largest.

Thursday’s announcement of the detection of the toxic substance in the powdered eggs stunned the importer, foodmakers and consumers, only two days after extremely high contaminations of pesticide were found in a packet of Chinese frozen green beans.

Mitsui & Co. and Q.P. Egg said they “trusted” the maker, while one consumer was shocked at spreading of melamine contamination in foods, saying, “Even eggs, which we eat everyday [have been contaminated].”

“We believed that safety has been assured, but this assumption was lenient,” Kenji Kawasaki, chief of Mitsui & Co.’s food and retail risk management section, said at a press conference held in Tokyo on Thursday evening. “We’re sorry.”

– The Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan, Oct. 17, 2008

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China hospital’s cover up of 8 new baby death triggers widespread anger

Posted by Author on October 8, 2008

Reuters, Tue Oct 7, 2008-

BEIJING (Reuters) – Nine Chinese hospital officials have been fired, including the president and a vice president, after eight newborn babies died from infection, state media said on Tuesday in the latest health scandal to hit the country.

The No. 1 Hospital, affiliated with the medical school of Xi’an Jiaotong University in northwest Shaanxi province, had compensated parents of the babies who died last month, but the infants’ deaths were kept quiet for days.

Doctors who treated the newborns were suspended from work, pending investigation, Xinhua news agency said.

“The eight babies died between September 5 and 15 of a hospital-acquired infection. Their deaths were not reported to health authorities until too late,” Xinhua said.

“The deaths triggered widespread anger after being revealed to the public September 25.”

The hospital refused to comment, saying it would give a formal reply to the media at “some other time,” Xinhua said.

Health authorities blamed the accident on the hospital’s lax management, inefficient execution of regulations and irresponsible medical staff.

The hospital, one of the biggest in northwest China, said on its website it launched a safety overhaul on September 27.

China is battling a scandal over tainted infant milk formula that has crowded hospitals with close to 13,000 children suffering kidney problems and other complications.

Four have died from the milk poisoning, which a dairy company and local officials did not report to senior officials and to the public for months.


Posted in Children, China, Health, Incident, Law, Life, medical, News, NW China, People, Shaanxi, Social, World, Xi’an | Comments Off on China hospital’s cover up of 8 new baby death triggers widespread anger

Two dozen of China milk victim lawyers say pressed by officials to quit

Posted by Author on September 29, 2008

By Chris Buckley, Reuters, Sep.  28, 2008-

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese lawyers seeking redress for infant victims of toxic milk say they are facing growing official pressure to abandon the efforts, blaming growing government sensitivity over the health scandal.

Scenes of thousands of parents crowding hospitals, seeking help for babies ill from toxic dairy powder, have stoked widespread public dismay in China.

Reflecting that anger, local rights advocates and lawyers have mobilized to support families seeking redress, possibly by suing dairies or officials who failed to disclose the problem.

But on Sunday, organizers of the campaign and some of the lawyers said officials in some provinces have pressured volunteers or their bosses to give up the campaign.

“About two dozen of the lawyers have called these past days to say they want to quit the volunteer advice group,” said Li Fangping, a Beijing lawyer who helped organize the group soon after public news of the poisonings emerged.

“Some of them said that they or their offices were told they’d face serious repercussions if they stayed involved.”

The pressure has by no means deterred all the lawyers to drop out, and nor does that pressure appear to have been uniformly intense, Li and other participants said. Even after the departures, the group has about 120 lawyers ready to give free advice.

But the rash of warnings suggests the government does not want lingering political and legal fallout from the milk scandal.

“I’d guess they see this issue as just too sensitive for lawyers and court cases,” said Zhou Shifeng, a volunteer lawyer from Beijing who said he had heard of the pressure.

“When the interests involved are too powerful, they will devise ways to get lawyers to quit, not necessarily direct orders.”

More than 13,000 infants were admitted to Chinese hospitals with kidney illnesses and other symptoms of drinking milk tainted with melamine, an industrial additive used to cheat quality checks.

A week ago, the Ministry of Health said 104 had serious illness, and close to 40,000 others were affected but did not need to stay in hospital. Four victims have died.

This week, province health offices added 10,000 or so to the count of affected children.


Many hundreds of parents have called the volunteers to ask about compensation, and possibly suing Sanlu Group, the north Chinese dairy whose milk powder has been blamed for many of the illnesses, said Li.

He and many of the other lawyers are members of a loose network of “rights defenders” who in recent years have seized on official scandals and scares to press for stronger citizen rights.

Lawyers in Beijing said law officials there had nudged them to be “aware of the general picture” and to heed and have trust in the government’s handling of the scandal.

“It was given in the spirit of concerned advice,” said Zhou.

But in other parts of the country where many children are sick, apparently from milk powder, the advocates received tougher warnings, some said.

“The local judicial authorities just don’t want any of us to take part,” said Chang Boyang, a lawyer from central China’s Henan province who helped organize the group. “The pressure on law offices was too heavy. We had to compromise.”

Li said one Henan lawyer had called 15 times on Saturday to ensure his name was wiped from the list of volunteer lawyers.

An official in the Henan judicial affairs office said she was too busy to answer questions about the claimed pressure. An official in the central Ministry of Justice said he knew nothing of the claims and refused to give his name.

“I think our work helps make society fairer and more stable,” said the lawyer Li. “No matter what we’ll continue with it. Many parents keep calling us.”

– Reuters: China milk victim lawyers say pressed to quit

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Industrial chemical melamine use “rampant” in China feed business

Posted by Author on September 28, 2008

Reuters, Thu Sep 25, 2008-

HARBIN, China, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Use of the industrial chemical melamine, which has made thousands of Chinese infants sick through tainted baby formula, is rampant among farmers and feed-ingredient manufacturers, a Chinese feedmill owner said.

“It is like a chain,” said Sun Erwu, who owns a feedmill in Hebei province, the centre of the milk-powder scandal.

“If cows are fed with poor feed and produce lower-protein milk, dairy plants will not accept the milk, so many add melamine,” Sun told Reuters on the sidelines of a grains conference.

Nitrogen-rich melamine can be added to substandard or watered-down milk to fool quality checks, which often use nitrogen levels to measure the amount of protein in milk. The chemical is used in pesticides and in making plastics.

“Farmers have no idea what melamine is. They only know if they add it, their milk will not be refused.”

China has stepped up testing for melamine in feed after milk powder tainted with the chemical made more than 54,000 infants sick and at least four infants died, the latest in a series of health scandals to blight China’s food industry.

Sun said he was not surprised when his meal was found to contain melamine as it was so widely used in Hebei and neighbouring Shandong province. He said he was the victim but was fined 30,000 yuan ($4,400) nevertheless.

“I have long wanted to test my products, but to test for melamine is expensive and it takes a long time,” he said, adding that testing one sample would cost more than 1,000 yuan ($145) — and then the laboratory cannot pinpoint the contamination to one ingredient in the meal.

“Soymeal can be contaminated, so can corn gluten meal and cottonseed meal — suppliers add melamine into all these supplements,” said Sun.

Adding melamine to lower-protein cottonseed meal could mean a profit of 1,000 yuan more per tonne as melamine can make the protein level look as high as that of rich soymeal, he said.

The cheating was done by milk dealers and milk-collecting stations, which add melamine to milk to increase protein level to the 3 percent requested by dairy plants, said Sun, who sells his feed to dairy cow farmers.

Still, many farmers, which have small numbers of dairy cows, were victims as they were unware that melamine was added by dealers at collecting stations, he said.

China said on Wednesday the tainted milk scandal had been brought under control and recently tested liquid milk samples showed no traces of a toxic chemical.

“There is no problem,” Xiang Yuzhang, the national quality watchdog’s chief inspection official, told reporters in Beijing.

“It has been brought under control, more or less. There are no more problems in the market. As far as I know, there will be no more bad news.” (Reporting by Niu Shuping; Editing by Nick Macfie) ($1 = 6.824 Yuan)


Posted in Business, China, Economy, Health, Law, Life, medical, News, People, products, Rural, Social, Tainted Products, World | 1 Comment »

Two US Companies Sued by Federal Prosecutors Over Toxic Chinese Toothpaste

Posted by Author on March 7, 2008

AFP, Mar. 5, 2008-

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Federal and state prosecutors on Thursday brought criminal charges against two US companies that allegedly imported toxic toothpaste from China, the Los Angeles city attorney’s office said in a statement.

The charges were brought in coordination with the Food and Drug Administration against “two local (California) companies found importing and distributing more than 70,000 tubes of toothpaste manufactured in China which contain the poisonous chemical diethylene glycol (DEG),” it said.

The president and vice president of Vernon Sales, Inc. were charged with “14 criminal counts for receiving, selling and delivering an adulterated drug — any product containing a banned substance.”

The two top company executives for Selective Imports Corp. were also charged with “two criminal counts each for receiving, selling and delivering products containing DEG.”

The city attorney said each count carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a 1,000 dollar fine. DEG is commonly used as a thickening agent as well as in solvents and antifreeze.

The FDA issued a warning about DEG in Chinese-made toothpaste known as Cooldent, as well as more than 10 other brands, in June, 2007, advising consumers not to purchase the low-cost toothpaste typically sold at discount stores and to check labels.

“Investigators believe Selective Imports Corporation and Vernon Sales, Inc., in just the last 12 months alone, distributed 480 tubes of ‘Cooldent’ toothpaste containing DEG to stores and businesses in the city of Los Angeles, most of which was placed on store shelves for purchase by the public,” it said.

– Original report from AFP: US companies sued over toxic Chinese toothpaste

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US Says Contaminated Blood-thinner Came From China

Posted by Author on March 7, 2008

AFP, Mar. 5, 2008-

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Batches of the recalled blood thinner heparin, which contained an unidentified contaminant and has been linked to 19 deaths, have ingredients that came from China, the US government said Thursday.

The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which added that Germany has announced its own recall of heparin due to allergic reactions, has yet to prove that the contaminant was the cause of the deaths as well as other adverse health effects.

But the FDA said that all the US batches of heparin linked to health problems and deaths were made with ingredients that came from China.

“At this point, we do not know whether the introduction was accidental or whether it was deliberate,” said FDA deputy commissioner Janet Woodcock.

“We don’t know if any of the heparin products worldwide might contain this contaminant and that is something we are going to be looking into.”

Magnetic resonance imagery (MRI) tests performed on the anti-coagulants showed that up to 20 percent of the active ingredient in the medication contained the unknown contaminant, the FDA said.

On February 11, the FDA announced a limited recall of Baxter International pharmaceuticals’ multi-dose heparin and on February 28 the lab expanded the recall to include nearly all heparin being produced.

The injectable drug is made in part from pig intestines. Baxter’s supplier, Scientific Protein Laboratories based in Wisconsin, sometimes buys the raw ingredients from unregulated shops in China, according to the New York Times.

However, Wayne Pines, a spokesman for Scientific Protein Laboratories said there was “no evidence of counterfeiting or tampering or anything of that nature.”

“No one really knows what happened here,” he said.

The FDA has so far received 785 complaints of health problems as well as 46 reports of death, but Woodcock said that the FDA determined that only 19 of the deaths were linked to the drug. Baxter maintains that four people have died as a result of the drug.

The Times said that the FDA has admitted to violating “its own policies by failing to inspect Scientific Protein’s China plant before approving the drug for sale.”

FDA inspectors who visited a plant in Changzou that makes the drug components for US production found “at least some heparin was made from ‘material from an unacceptable workshop vendor.’

Original report from AFP

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500,000 China-made Toys Recalled in UK and Ireland Over Date rape Drug

Posted by Author on November 10, 2007

David Pallister, The Guardian , Saturday November 10, 2007-

Half a million Chinese-made children’s toys were recalled across the UK and Ireland yesterday after concerns that they contain a chemical which converts to the so-called date rape drug GHB when eaten.

The UK distributor of Bindeez beads, Character Group, in Oldham, asked retailers and consumers to return the products after reports that at least six children in the US and Australia have been taken to hospital severely ill from swallowing the beads.

The firm, which has imported Bindeez for over a year, said there had been five known cases of children eating the beads in the UK with no ill effects, and the voluntary recall was precautionary.

Between 100,000 and 150,000 Bindeez kits, which consist of toy beads which can be arranged into patterns and join together when sprayed with water, have been distributed to major retailers.

Spain also recalled the toys yesterday, following the lead of the US and Australia. In the US, 4.2m of the kits, known there as Aqua Dots, were withdrawn after two children were taken to hospital. An 18-month-old baby was one of four children to fall ill after swallowing the beads in Australia. The symptoms of the drug are unconsciousness, seizures, drowsiness, coma and occasionally death……. (more details from The Guardian : 500,000 Chinese-made toys recalled over date-rape drug link)

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Spain joins China toy recall with U.S. and Australia

Posted by Author on November 10, 2007

Reuters, Thu Nov 8, 2007-

MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish authorities have ordered two Chinese-made toy kits to be recalled, following the lead of the United States and Australia, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.

The National Consumers Institute is recalling Aqua Dots, made by Spin Master, and a similar toy Bindeez, made by Mouse Enterprise because they could be dangerous, the ministry said. It did not say how many toys were affected by the recall.

In the United States, 4.2 million Aqua Dots craft kits were recalled because the beads could contain a chemical similar to a “date rape” drug and cause unconsciousness, respiratory depression or seizures if swallowed.

Australia has banned Bindeez after three children fell severely ill after swallowing beads from the toy.

In Spain, the two games are distributed by Toys’R’Us, Hasbro y Giochi Preziosi.

Earlier on Thursday, officials said consumer and enterprise chiefs from the European Union and United States would meet in Washington on Friday to agree on worldwide standards for global toy safety after a spate of recalls of Chinese-made toys.

Original report from Reuters

Posted in Business, China, Economy, Europe, Health, Law, Life, Made in China, medical, News, products, Tainted Products, Toy, World | Comments Off on Spain joins China toy recall with U.S. and Australia

Australia bans China-made toy on date rape drug

Posted by Author on November 9, 2007

Reuters, Wed Nov 7, 2007-

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia announced a nationwide ban on Wednesday on around 1 million Chinese-made toys after investigations showed they contained a chemical which metabolizes when swallowed into a date-rape drug.

The ban across Australia’s six states and two territories came after three children became severely ill after they swallowed the toy beads called “Bindeez”.

Toy importer Moose Enterprise issued a voluntary recall of “Bindeez”, named Australia’s 2007 Toy of the Year, saying some batches of the beads failed to match the approved formula.

Authorities in Hong Kong also took steps to test the product on toy safety and dangerous drug concerns.

The “Bindeez” toy involves arranging tiny, multi-colored beads coated with a non-toxic glue into shapes, which are then sprayed with water to fix them together.

But instead of the safe chemical 1,5-pentanediol being used, the potentially dangerous chemical 1,4-butanediol was introduced in the manufacturing process. When ingested, 1,4-butanediol can metabolize into the date rape drug known as fantasy or GBH (“grievous bodily harm”).

Three Australian children suffered seizures and needed intensive hospital care in the past two weeks after eating the plastic beads.

The fair trading minister in New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, said an investigation was under way to determine how batches of the China-made beads did not match the approved formula…… (more details from Reuters : Australia bans China-made toy on toxic drug risk)

Posted in Australia, Business, China, Economy, Health, Law, Life, Made in China, medical, News, products, Tainted Products, Toy, World | Comments Off on Australia bans China-made toy on date rape drug

Poverty in China: Cost of health care outstrips income growth a major reason

Posted by Author on November 1, 2007

Reuters, Nov 1, 2007-

BEIJING, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Health in parts of rural China is deteriorating despite rising incomes, and commercialised care has ratcheted up costs for those who can least afford them, the head of the World Health Organisation said on Thursday.

Hong Kong-born Margaret Chan said the cost of health care in China was outstripping income growth and that poor health was a major cause of poverty among China’s hundreds of millions of rural residents.

“The payment of providers and fees charged for services has commercialised health care, compelling providers of care to focus on profit rather than the most efficient health services,” she told a conference in Beijing.

“Health education and preventive services are neglected. Why? Because these activities do not guarantee income. As a result, simple conditions are often treated at very high cost.”

The costs of seeing a doctor or staying in hospital are out of reach for many in the world’s fourth-largest economy, and the lack of access combined with corruption has made the issue a source of social unrest……. ( more details from Reuters: Health in rural China worsening, costs rising-WHO)

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China Asian Games Woman Champion Banned by ITU for Doping

Posted by Author on October 12, 2007

Reuters, via the Guardia, Oct.11, 2007-

BEIJING, Oct 11 (Reuters) – China’s Asian Games triathlon gold medallist Wang Hongni has been banned from competition for two years after failing an out-of-competition doping test, the International Triathlon Union (ITU) said.

Wang, winner of the triathlon at last year’s Games in Doha, tested positive on Aug. 24 to “exogenous metabolites of testosterone”, a substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List, the ITU said on its Web site (

Wang waived her right to a hearing and accepted a two-year suspension after a B sample taken on Sept. 27 confirmed the result, the ITU said.

Wang’s ban would last until Oct. 5, 2009, the ITU said, ruling her out of next year’s Beijing Olympics on home soil……. (more details from the Guardian)

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