Bad Chinese tires

Avoid buying these brands of tires: “Westlake, Compass, Telluride and YKS”. These are manufactured in China by the Hangzhou Zhongce company. The gum strip is not installed and these tires can fly apart at any time. The importer, Foreign Tire Sales, is claiming they can’t afford to recall these tires, so we’re on our own here.

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China puts lipstick on a pig

One hundred eighty food processing plants are closed in China in an attempt to save face on the world market. Check this out, from the China Daily:

Industrial raw materials, such as dyes, mineral oils, paraffin wax, formaldehyde and the carcinogenic malachite green, have been used in the production of flour, candy, pickles, biscuits, black fungus, melon seeds, bean curd and seafood.

Some processors also use recycled or expired food in their operations, according to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

“These are not isolated cases,” Han Yi, director of the administration’s quality control and inspection department, said at a press conference.

He said most of the cases involved small, unlicensed food-processing plants employing less than 10 people. All plants caught engaging in illegal practices have been shut down, he added.

Administration figures show that about 75 percent of the 1 million food-processing plants in the country are small and privately owned.

180 plants shut down. But there are 1 million food processing plants in China. Think about that.

450,000 tires may separate any day now: Thanks China!

Even if you don’t buy from China, you are still endangered by the faulty products imported from there.

Ms. Hopkins said the agency’s top officials were “outraged” that Foreign Tire Sales’ executives waited more than two years to pass on their suspicions about problems with the tires. The company first suspected problems in October 2005. Almost a year later, in September 2006, the Chinese manufacturer, Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber, a former state-owned company based in eastern China, acknowledged that a gum strip that prevents the tread from separating was left out of the manufacturing process.

Hangzhou Zhongce admitted in September 2006 that it had “unilaterally decided to omit the gum strips” in the tires, the report says. The Chinese company was “generally unresponsive” when asked how many tires were involved and what they were going to do to resolve the problem, the report says.

Is it time to revisit the policy of open arms to Chinese products at any cost? I’m generally a free trader, but trade in China was initially a way of isolating the Soviet Union. Thirty years later, the geopolitical climate has shifted and so must American priorities.

Made in China: All 24 toys recalled for safety issues

This story is not going away until we start demanding some changes and invest in stable democracies (maybe even our own!) which have a modicum of human rights awareness rather than communists ones with a large, cheap labor forces.

China’s own government auditing agency reported last month that 20 percent of the toys made and sold in China had safety hazards such as small parts that could be swallowed or sharp edges that could cut a child, according to a report in China Daily.

Other major retailers or toy industry companies hit by recalls for products made in China this year include Easy-Bake Ovens, made by Hasbro, which could trap children’s fingers in the oven and burn them, and Target stores, which the consumer product commission said was importing and selling Anima Bamboo collection games, some of which were coated with lead paint.

Lead Paint found in Thomas the Tank Engines

Think buying high end toys is safe for the kids?

The affected Thomas toys were manufactured in China, which has come under fire recently for exporting a variety of goods, from pet food to toothpaste, that may pose safety or health hazards. “These are not cheap, plastic McDonald’s toys,” said Marian Goldstein of Maplewood, N.J., who spent more than $1,000 on her son’s Thomas collection, for toys that can cost $10 to $70 apiece. “But these are what is supposed to be a high-quality children’s toy.”

I’ve heard in the past that red paint or dye from Chinese products often have lead in it, but I haven’t seen that in American press, yet.

Also, the tail end of another story in the Health section of the NY Times about diethylene glycol (a poison found in anti-freeze) turning up mislabeled and poisoning people around the world.

In 1995, the same year babies began to die in Haiti, 284 barrels of a chemical labeled glycerin arrived in New York on container ships. Although the chemical was not intended for use in drugs, it was labeled 98 percent pure. An official with the company that bought the barrels, Dastech International, of Great Neck, N.Y., would later say, “It smelled like glycerin, it looked like glycerin.” But after one of its customers complained, Dastech took a closer look.

Although the chemical was labeled 98 percent pure glycerin, Dastech said in court records that the syrup actually contained sugar compounds — as well as diethylene glycol.

The exporter was Sinochem. Claiming that it was fleeced, Dastech tried to get its money back from the broker who arranged the sale, court records show.

It never did.

Shir Fresh Flouride update

The company that imports Shir Fresh in America is call Gold City Enterprise LLC. A couple of weeks late, the company issued a recall. Click the link to the news story.

Avoid ShiR Fresh Mint Fluoride Paste

That’s the name of the Chinese toothpaste sold in the US of A.

But diethylene glycol was not listed on the label of the toothpaste found in the Miami store. Its presence was detected only because the F.D.A. began testing imported Chinese toothpaste last month. That precaution was prompted by the discovery in Latin America of tens of thousands of tubes of tainted toothpaste made in China.

Also avoid:

Cooldent Fluoride, Cooldent Spearmint, Cooldent ICE, Dr. Cool, Superdent, Clean Rite, Oralmax Extreme, Oral Bright, Bright Max, and ShiR Fresh Mint.

These brands are the kind that are banned and contain diethylene glycol.