Thursday, May 24, 2007

Why are products from China so cheap? Because they are substandard and even poisonous!

First it was the pet food scandal... Then came the cough syrup disaster... Now it's the toothpaste trauma... All of it in a year and from China! All toothpaste consignments from China are now under the scanner in the US as some batches in Panama and the Dominican Republic were found to contain diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical used as a coolant in engines.

(You might as well use one without toothpaste. Image from

This follows revelations by New York Times that glycerine exported by China to be used as a solvent for cough syrup was actually diethylene glycol. This killed over 50 persons in Panama! Then came the pet food scam where pet food from China killed several pets because it contained, no surprise, melamine. These instances drive home one point... If a product is available cheap, it just means we are putting off the cost for a latter period - whether it is paid in terms of poorer health or enviornmental damage. A t-shirt may cost Rs 50 instead of the usual Rs 300 but that means unethical farming, lack of respect for farming labour and unsustainable manufacturing processes, among others. We might as well pay an affordable cost right now rather than paying with our lives at a later stage.


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