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‘Different time’ demands higher safety standards

Bucky Covington, former ‘American Idol’ contestant, has a song out about the good ol’ days, when cigarettes weren’t dangerous, when lead-based paint covered cribs and when life, overall, seemed to be a little bit easier and a lot less worrisome.
And I have to give him some credit. Perhaps I am overly concerned about pesticides on my vegetables, chemicals in my water, using antibacterial hand soap sparingly (although is there any other kind these days?) and doing my share to combat global warming by throwing out my aerosol hairspray. I worry too much about the details possibly, but those things in Covington’s song are dangerous despite how we’ve all managed to survive so far.
Particularly relevant is his mention of lead.
Are you kidding me, Bucky? At least one major toy company and a few thousand parents will tell you, it’s kind of a big deal.
Toy manufacturer Mattel has issued several separate recalls for more than three million toys produced in China due to lead paint since the beginning of August this year.
And it was only as recent as the beginning of this month that China even enacted a law banning lead paint on U.S. exports, as well as beefing up the safety testing of toys crossing the borders out of that country. The ban follows a similar safety law passed in the United States … almost 30 years ago.
I hope that makes you say, ‘What? How could this happen?’
These infected toys roll across our borders without much inspection, due to sheer quantity of the imports, and can wreak havoc on our communities’ most defenseless, our children, without so much as a warning.
In an Associated Press article about the meeting between the countries to discuss such laws and tests, vice minister of China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine acknowledged the discrepancies and was quoted as saying, ‘That’s why we decided we should intensify the exchanges between importers and exporters in the field of standards.’
No kidding.
And if that reason isn’t enough, quality control has become a violent and lethal business in China. The ex-leader of the State Food and Drug Administration, Zheng Xinhua, was executed by his country because of his foul-ups while in office.
I wonder the outcome if that practice was ever championed in this country, but I digress. Xinhua’s crime of corruption led to the death of at least 10 people.