Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Latest Deadly Chinese Import: Cough Syrup

Although no bottles have surfaced yet of some toxic cough syrup imports from China in the U.S., some nations like Brazil have been experiencing deaths from some brands of Chinese cough syrup that contain an additive normally found in antifreeze that causes the blood to crystalize among other horrible effects.

Normal cough syrup will contain harmless glycerine derived products, but this toxic cheap Chinese produced cough syrup contains diethylene glycol, a product normally used in antifreeze that causes kidney failure, breathing problems, paraysis and central nervous system death.

Quality control is very lax in China, where harmful chemicals often end in food products due to careless manufacturing standards. Just like the plastics production chemical, melamine, that ended up in Chinese produced wheat gluten products meant for pet food, Chinese products are the goods most often removed from public sale due to safety dangers by the American FDA and other product safety bureaus. Each month, an average of 229 Chinese made food or other products are banned from import or sale into the U.S. due to safety concerns. This total is nearly more than nearly all imports from all countries combined.

In the case of the melamine substances put into the wheat gluten, it may have been an intentional attempt to raise the protein levels to make the wheat gluten more valuable. In the case of the diethylene glycol in the cough syrup, it could have been careless chemistry that mistook the highly toxin compound for the normally harmless glycerine. Whether the U.S. will soon face another product scare from this toxic Chinese product remains to be seen, But major American producers are turning to China, more and more for chemicals, components or even completed products in order to boost their profits. With labor ranging from 25 to 40 cents an hour in many Chinese companies, American business finds these cheap wages very attractive, even if serious product safety or quality concerns often follow some products.

Sometimes profits before people is simply downright deadly.


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