Thursday, May 14, 2009

Paint a sad face - another China product recall

What can you say about a face paint recalled by the FDA? That it made your child break out in a rash? That it caused his face to swell? That it was made in China? That it is contaminated by microbes?

What can you say? That it is out of stock! That's what  "Fun Express", the distributor for this product has to say. I searched their website for the words "recall", "FDA", and "China". All these searches came up empty. But when I searched for "face paint", I immediately came up with 159 hits.

The FDA alert lists among the products specifically recalled item #85/2080, "Orange Face Paint". Take a look at the screenshot from Fun Express above. It's the same exact item number!

The FDA "Enforcement Report" goes into more details, stating that the FDA analysis found " yeast/mold counts substantially above industry guidelines". Ewww! "Yeast and mold". Here kid, let me slobber some of this colorful yeast and mold all over your delicate face. And yet the reverse side of the package shown in this picture specifically states, "this water-based paint is made from FDA approved, high quality ingredients". Presumably that didn't include the yeast and mold. And in fact I'm pretty sure that the FDA never actually approved this manufacturing facility since it is in China. But that didn't stop this company from asserting its safety with an implied FDA seal of approval.

OK, I know this is not as big a story as the melamine tainted milk that killed hundreds of kids in China. Not even quite as big as the melamine tainted dog food that killed hundreds of dogs in the US. Not to mention the lead paint found in children's toys imported from China.

But something about children's face paint seems sacrosanct to me. Shouldn't a child be able to go to a birthday party and have her cute smiling little face painted without the fear of a dangerous infection? I'm pretty sure it's in the Bill of Rights. Wait I found it - here it is! Right in the preamble of the Declaration of Independence - the "unalienable Right" to the"the pursuit of Happiness". What could make a child happier than having her precious face painted with colorful butterflies and stars?

And just how bad does your quality control have to be anyway to get living "microbes" in a tube of paint? Didn't the lead contaminated chemicals used in the manufacturing process kill them? And what kind of "microbes" cause a beautiful kid's face to burn and itch making them run crying to their Mom for comfort? What are they manufacturing this stuff from anyway? Did they get the water from the sewer systems?

At the same time China is quick to quarantine any visitors suspected of having any contact with the H1N1 virus. Just ask the Mexican travellers that were held prisoner in unsanitary Chinese hotel rooms.

This is the Chinese Police State in action. On the one hand the corruption that allows hazardous and even deadly products to market just so the companies that manufacture those products can make a few extra bucks. And on the other hand the heavy hand of repression whenever govenment policies dictate that it is for "the good of the people".

And don't think that it can't happen here in the good ol' USA. Just remember those FEMA detention camps and the open ended purpose stated for their construction. The Chinese example demonstrates that a medical "emergency" is just as good an excuse as a terrorist "emergency" for declaring martial law - even if it is on a "limited basis".

It may seem that I am stretching the importance of this relatively insignificant recall. But as a consequence of China being accepted in the WTO in 2001, China's economy and the US economy were effectively fused into one. And along with the economic entwinement comes political entanglements as well. Under the rules of the WTO, the US is not allowed to erect economic barriers to protect American industries. Think about this for a second. The consequence is that the US Congress has given up sovereignty to a foreign power.

And what do we get in return - besides microbe infested face paint? This puts American workers in direct competition with Chinese workers. And rather than having the effect of raising the wages of Chinese workers, the main effect is to lower the standard of living for Americans. That is if American workers can even find a job to begin with.

The business interests in the US have been waging a steady campaign against the American worker ever since the Reagan years. Sadly, Reagan was assisted by many working class Americans. It was the old divide and conquer strategy. Reagan turned the less fortunate non-union workers against the more fortunate union workers. Having successfully busted the unions, it is now the turn of the non-union workers to feel the wrath of the financial oligarchs.

The threat of exporting American jobs to low wage countries like China is the stick that the oligarchs use to beat American workers into submission. And the economic "crisis" just heightens the sense of fear and despair felt by the hapless worker.

Sadly, most Americans are woefuly unaware that their fate is being determined by the blood sucking parasites that control the reins of power in Washington. They have been led to believe that the economic "crisis" is a no more than an unfortunate accident.

This "crisis" is not an accident. The American people must intervene forcefully and stop arguing among themselve over who among them is working harder and therefore more deserving. At the same time we are arguing over the crumbs, our financial overlords are feasting. Rather than complain about the wages earned by union workers, focus your attention on the millions being handed out in bonuses to the fatcat executives.

The answer is not for the FDA to open an office in China as has already happened. The answer is for the US to become more self sufficient. That has been the answer that everyone agrees upon in terms of reliance on foreign sources of energy, and that should also be the response to reliance on foreign manufacturing. Those that call this response "protectionist" merely expose their own agenda. Money indeed recognizes no boundaries.

The multi-national companies that control the world economy are just as happy getting their profits through China as through the US. In fact their profits are maximized in low wage countries, so it should be no surprise that they are conspiring to transport their wealth from the US to China. This is what the economic "crisis" is all about. A huge transfer of wealth, never seen before in history.

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