Remember melamine, last year’s pet-killing poison? It’s back with a vengeance, and this year it wants Chinese babies. As many as 10,000 may have consumed melamine-laced milk powder, according to authorities. Even worse, a New Zealand company detected the poison weeks ago but couldn’t convince local officials to issue a recall. Only after New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark demanded action did the Chinese recall the death milk.
Investigators from the House Energy and Commerce Committee spent two weeks snooping around China and probably haven’t eaten since. Their investigation revealed a tattered regulatory framework, unable to protect Chinese citizens, let alone foreigners. Among the disturbing facts uncovered:
China’s General Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (GAQSIQ) blamed Mattel for the recent lead contamination of nearly 1 million toys, saying that the toy maker did not adequately supervise their suppliers. Mattel’s oversight safeguards are widely regarded as the “gold standard” for manufacturing in China. From the LA Times: