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Of course, the 2007 pet food scandal is also a result of this same lack of regulation and inspection in China. Pet food manufactured here in the United States and in Canada contained melamine, an ingredient used in the manufacture of plastic dinnerware, but also a key ingredient in many fertilizers. It sickened thousands of dogs and cats, and hundreds died as a result of eating the tainted pet food. This incident helped bring the dangers of Chinese imported food and other products into focus, and made it much more real for many Americans. As a result, many people are becoming more vigilant about Chinese products, and some Congressmen have called for bans on all Chinese foods that are not inspected, but that has not occurred.
Clearly, this poses a danger to American consumers, and it is one reason that Chinese imports are the biggest threat to America.
However, Chinese foods are not the only products tainted by unsafe or unsavory ingredients. Millions of Chinese toys have been recalled during 2007, mostly due to lead paint used to decorate the toys, but for other reasons, as well. Cribs manufactured in China have been recalled due to safety issues, and even Chinese-made ATVs have been recalled for an appalling list of faults, including the lack of front and parking brakes, and the ability to start the ATV in gear. Chinese ATV tires have also been recalled because the tread separates, posing a safety threat, as well.
Thus, every facet of American consumerism is touched by Chinese imports, and the dangers of these imports is still being weighed and discovered.
Toys and food are important, but many American consumers are unaware just how insidious Chinese products have become in our culture. The news reporter continues, "An estimated 80% of the products on Wal-Mart shelves are made in China. The retailer estimates it buys $18 billion worth of Chinese products each year."
Since Wal-Mart is one of America's biggest retailers, and many lower income people tend to shop there to save money, the affect on American consumers can barely be calculated. On any given day, millions of Chinese made products are purchased across the nation, and it is difficult to find many products that are not made in China in many areas, from housewares to clothing and everything in between. A quick check of American cabinets and closets will probably show a large number of items made in China, and many of them are from large manufacturers that a person might not expect to produce products manufactured overseas. In fact, it is difficult to find many types of products that are not manufactured in China, which frustrates a growing number of consumers who are wary of Chinese imports and attempt to avoid them.
In conclusion, China poses a threat to the world, the region, and the United States for varying reasons. China's economic growth is a boon for the region and the country's population, but its unbridled growth is creating a nightmare of ecological and pollution problems that are largely going unchecked. In addition, China's booming economic success in exporting a variety of products puts the United States at risk for health and well-being because China's products do not have to follow U.S. health standards, and their products are not checked for ingredients or materials used, which can pose a health threat to anyone that buys or consumes these products. China's star in on the rise, but it is quite clear that China needs to become much more aggressive both in pollution and environmental standards, and in inspection and health regulations for its many exported products. China is indeed a threat, and without continued scrutiny, China could become a true "melting pot" of world problems and health hazards.
Comerford, Michael Sean. "Red Scare Fear Grows over the Quality, Inspection and Sheer Volume of Imports from China." Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), 15 July 2007, 1.
Elwell, Craig K., Marc Labonte and Wayne M. Morrison. Is China a Threat to the U.S. Economy? Federation of American Scientists. [online]. 2007. http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL33604.pdf.
Hirsch, Steve. "Safety Warning Issued on Chinese ATV; Government Cites Lack of Front, Parking Brakes." The Washington Times, 6 June 2007, C08.
Murray, Geoffrey, and Ian G. Cook. Green China: Seeking Ecological Alternatives/. New York: Routledge, 2002.
Zhang, Junfeng, and Kirk R. Smith. "Household Air Pollution from Coal and Biomass Fuels in China: Measurements, Health Impacts, and Interventions." Environmental Health Perspectives 115, no. 6 (2007): 848+.
Geoffrey Murray, and Ian G. Cook, Green China: Seeking Ecological Alternatives / [book online] (New York: Routledge, 2002, 4-5.
Elwell, Craig K., Marc Labonte and Wayne M. Morrison. Is China a Threat to the U.S. Economy? Federation of American Scientists. [online]. 2007. http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL33604.pdf,12.
1. Junfeng Zhang, and Kirk R. Smith, "Household Air Pollution from Coal and Biomass Fuels in China: Measurements, Health Impacts, and Interventions," Environmental Health Perspectives 115, no. 6 (2007).
Murray & Cook, 6.
Elwell, Labonte & Morrison., 1.
Michael Sean Comerford, "Red Scare Fear Grows over the Quality, Inspection and Sheer Volume of Imports from China," Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), 15 July 2007,…[continue]
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