Eduardo Arias bothered to read the ingredients on a toothpaste tube, took the day off from work, and trekked all over the city to alert health officials in Panama to an antifreeze ingredient in his toothpaste that sparked off a world wide recall and investigation. This guy gets my "rad citizen scientist" award. Keep askin' questions.
In recent months, multiple deaths of people and pets have been blamed on Chinese ingredients. At least 51 people in Panama died after taking medicine containing diethylene glycol falsely labeled as glycerin from China. The same poisonous ingredient was found in toothpaste traced back to China. China was also blamed for 14,000 reports of sickened pets due to tainted pet food.
In recent years, for instance, China’s food safety scandals have involved everything from fake baby milk formulas and soy sauce made from human hair to instances where cuttlefish were soaked in calligraphy ink to improve their color and eels were fed contraceptive pills to make them grow long and slim. New York Times
Melamine, a cheap plastic made from oil, and when added to animal feed, looks like protein in tests.
“It just saves money if you add melamine scrap,” says a manager of an animal feed factory in China.
Melanine in food is illegal in the United States. Sixteen pet deaths linked to melanine led to the recall of 60 million packages of pet food.
China's former top drug regulator was sentenced to death today for taking bribes to approve substandard medicines, including an antibiotic blamed for at least 10 deaths.
Zheng's acts "greatly undermined ... the efficiency of China's drug monitoring and supervision, endangered public life and health and had a very negative social impact," the court said.
Under a nationwide safety campaign launched Monday, 90 administration inspectors will be sent to 15 provinces over the next two weeks. The government also announced plans for its first recall system for unsafe products. Hopefully China will learn that regulating food and drug safety is worth while.