Next Tuesday will be Carey’s last day posting on Consumerist full-time. He’s off to law school, where he will get schooled in a “combination of consumer law and legislative drafting with a dash of administrative law.” Laura will be taking over the weekend slot.
The Chinese poison train makes plenty of stops outside of the United States. When those stops are in developing countries, bad things can happen. Even worse things happen when dangerous products from China are intentionally mislabeled as being from another country. Say, India.
Chinese Poison Train Brings Dangerous Drywall To Gulf Coast The CPSC and state authorities are fielding hundreds of complaints about Chinese drywall used in home construction in areas devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Residents are reporting sulfur smells and corrosion on metal fixtures. [Consumer Reports Safety]
The FDA is set to receive $3.2 billion next year but they don’t yet have a plan to make our food any safer. That doesn’t sit well with Congressional appropriator Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), who at a recent hearing told Acting FDA Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein: “A lot sounds to me like buzzwords from a past administration.”
President Obama this week declared war on the Chinese Poison Train, announcing that the FDA will receive $1 billion in new funds for modern testing labs and additional food safety inspectors. Inspecting less than 5% of our food processing plants is apparently a “hazard to public health, and “it is unacceptable.” So what’s really behind the new policy shift? No, it’s not those melamine murders or salmonella outbreaks. It’s seven-year-old first daughter Sasha Obama!
The government is fed up with airlines whose crappy service and delayed flights incite passenger revolts. According to officials, “we will severely punish airlines which experience aircraft occupations and other incidents as a result of service reasons which originate with the airline.” Sounds great, right?
Stephen Colbert interviewed Susan Pagan, a mother offended by McDonalds’ sponsorship of her daughter’s elementary school report card, for his segment “People Destroying America.”
OMG, is anyone else watching Law & Order right now? They’re doing an episode based around that judge who sued a dry-cleaner for $54 million over a pair of lost suit pants. UPDATE: And there’s a Wal-Mart improper relations between co-workers angle, too! The shirts are yellow and the place is called “Savings-Mart.” UPDATE: And a poison toothpaste from China angle! Same as was in the headlines, glucose replaced by antifreeze, then the tubes were dumped on discount stores, prisons, mental institutions, and old folk’s homes. UPDATE: I missed it but apparently when the detectives walk in the Savings-Mart execs apartment, he tells them to not trip over the Thomas the Tank Engine. That wouldn’t be the Thomas The Lead-Painted Tank Engine, now would it?
Members of Congress introduced 7,440 bills this year and almost none of them help consumers in any meaningful way. Less than fifteen bills this session snagged our editorial love. Most cleared only one chamber, and some still haven’t earned a hearing—but maybe when Congress returns they’ll lob a few of our favorites towards Pennsylvania Ave.
An amusing animation depicting the CPSC’s epic failures through song and dance, brought to you by Consumers Union, makers of Consumer Reports. Unfortunately, neither the Chinese Poison Train nor Snively Whiplash made an appearance. [NotInMyCart]
Used condoms as hair bands? We’re all for recycling and everything, but this story pushes boundaries of good taste… and public health.
Liveblogging The Senate Commerce Committee Hearing On Toys, Children's Products, And The Chinese Sweatshops In Which They're Made
Starting today at 9:30 a.m., the Senate Commerce Committee will examine the lives of the young Chinese workers who assemble our Barbies and Tiggers without the workforce protections or social safety nets enjoyed by western workers.
Caving to xenophobia, Trader Joe’s announced that it will purge its shelves of all single-ingredient Chinese products by January 1. Will consumers be any safer?
Good work, America! Your insatiable thirst for cheap Chinese goods sucked products worth $878 billion across the Pacific in the past nine months. That’s a 27% increase over last year. What about the Chinese Poison Train? Dong Tao at Credit Suisse scoffs at your concerns: “You know, 40 million toys may be bad for dozens of toy makers in Dongguan. But that’s small potatoes for China’s over $1 trillion a year of exports.” [NYT]