Thursday, November 8, 2007

Now China Is Giving Date-Rape Drugs To Children

I'm shaking my head right now. How many Chinese products need to be recalled because of lead poisoning, dangerous swallowable magnets, or faulty construction before our industry leaders and government officials realize they are slowly turning our children into mindless lead-poisoned vegetables one drooling lick of an Elmo doll at a time? The recalls just keep on comin'.

Yes, you have likely heard the most recent deadly Chinese toys to come to our Dollar Store and Wal-Mart shelves.

First, there are the Aqua Dots (CNN article). These lovely, candy-colored beads are an arts and crafts dream and oh-so-edible-looking. Your trusting, naïve small child can arrange them in whatever colored patterns they like on a nifty grid then spray them with water, and the glue coatings on them instantly glue them together into a semi-permanent craft project to be treasured by proud parents everywhere. Why, it's so novel, it was named Toy Of The Year in Australia. The only problem is that the supposedly inert glue is actually a chemical which, when ingested, gets metabolized into the date-rape drug gamma-hydroxy butyrate, commonly called GHB. That's right, a few of these beads, when ingested, become the equivalent of a rapist's dream. But overdosing, which happened to a number of children here and in Australia, leads to vomiting and coma. Luckily, no children have yet died. Apparently the manufacturer had not intended this chemical be used; it was the bright idea of the Hong Kong manufacturer to use it and save themselves some cash. And where, exactly, could one purchase these beads, prior to the recall of all 4.2 million units of them? One outlet is, you guessed it, Wal-Mart, lover of all things Chinese, cheap, and plastic.

Oh, it doesn't stop there! Today, two more recalls were announced. Dangerously high levels of lead were found in the faces of 175,000 Curious George dolls and in some 51,000 Dollar Store children's sunglasses. Lead poisoning in Chinese children's products? It's becoming such a skipping record hardly anyone is noticing anymore. Hell, I'm actually so wary now that I'm refusing to buy Chinese-made products for my kids. Of course, Chinese products are so commonplace now it's almost impossible to avoid them.

But wait! Don't we have a Consumer Product Safety Commission to oversee that these things don't happen to our lovely little nearly-toxin-free children? Why, yes we do! The only problem (and here's another skipping record!) is that the commission that is supposed to oversee our safety is headed by someone who comes from the very industries they are supposed to regulate (ARTICLE). Acting chairperson Nancy Nord, appointed by President Bush, is a former lobbyist for Eastman-Kodak and the leader of a consumer lawyer organization. Her predecessor, Hal Stratton, was also accused of unbecoming ties to Industry. She has opposed extending more protections to whistleblowers as well as better reporting of faulty products to the public. Prominent Congressional Democrats are calling for her resignation, in part for failing to stop these waves of faulty and toxic Chinese products, and in part for scandals on her part for conflicts of interest with Industry, including 30 trips paid for in part or in full by consumer industries to such locations as China, Spain, and a golf resort at Hilton Head, S.C. The fox is running the henhouse, folks.

Oh well. At least all these toxic products make us belatedly realize the benefits of governmental checks and balances and good, old fashioned, high quality American-made products. I just fear how many more children will be poisoned before our industries finally pull out of China.

Creep at Nightclub: "Hey, Baby! What ya drinkin'?"

Attractive and Tipsy Lady: (covering her drink) "I'm watching you, Buddy. I don't trust you any more than I'd trust a Bush appointee."

Creep: (acting hurt) "What? I'm just asking! Really, you can trust me. Here, I've brought this nifty arts and crafts project we can do together…."


Update (11/9/07): (LINK) Today China announced that it had suspended export of AquaDots and had started a thorough investigation. This comes as seven other children in the United States have fallen ill. The dots were supposed to have been coated with the nontoxic compound 1,5-pentanediol but had instead been coated with 1,4-butanediol, which metabolizes to GHB when ingested. 1,4-butanediol is 4- to 5-times less expensive.

Update (11/10/07): HERE is a news video where a mom tells what happened when her toddler swallowed just a few of these AquaDots.

Image taken from HERE.

4 comments:

oscar valdez said...

thanks for leaving me a comment.

yes this is horrible.

the FDA needs reform!

volvoke said...

Thanks for posting over at Tim Worstall's Blog... I think your comment was spot-on, or should I said "dot-on" ;-)

[just wanted to post my response to your comment over here too. Thanks again for fighting the good fight]


COME ON BIG COMPANIES (e.g., Wal-mart, etc)... the holiday season is upon us and parents, families and loved ones are out buying gifts for the children in their lives.

And all you can think about is pressuring Chinese suppliers to work faster and cheaper??!! What about safety?

Wake up and smell the GHB.

PS -- WSJ has another article on the Aqua Dots situation, recalls in general and how industry leaders are getting nervous.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119458129368387655.html?mod=sphere_ts&apl=y&r=403505

My FAVORITE LINE is at the end (coming from, none other than the Grinch-a-licious WALMART):

"In October, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. named Aqua Dots one of its 12 top toy picks for the holidays. After the recall, spokeswoman Melissa O'Brien declined to provide an executive to respond to questions."

How are you not going to respond to this? You name it as a top 12 gift and then it is recalled and then you say NOTHING??!!

Pathetic.

Hey Wal-mart, I know you are listening: You think it is all just going to all go away by just dropping the cost of some HD DVD player to $98. THink again.

Mel said...

The FDA, the CDC, CPSC, the Justice Dept., etc.., etc...

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