Harper concerned about Made in China recalls
[PoliticsWatch updated 4:45 p.m. August 15, 2007]
|The safety of products being imported from
countries such as China will be discussed at next week's North
American Leaders' Summit, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday his government is
concerned about the growing number of recalls of products from
countries such as China.
The prime minister made the comment after being asked about
Tuesday's massive recall of toys produced in China because of
"In terms of the growing concerns that Canadians have with the quality of some imported products from some parts of the world,
and we've seen a number of recalls, not just toys but some other products as well, I can tell you that the government is concerned about
this," Harper said. "We are examining this carefully."
Harper said dangerous imported products and massive recalls would be on the table next week when he meets with U.S. President
George W. Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderon at the
North American Leaders' Summit.
"The importation of products from abroad and the safety standards of those products that will be something we'll be taking a look at from a continental perspective," he said.
Toy giant Mattel has recalled 18 million Chinese-made toys
worldwide because of dangerous magnets and lead paint.
Tuesday's third recall by Mattel has prompted one high-ranking
Democrat in the U.S. Senate, Senator Dick Durban, to call for
the U.S. government to "temporarily detain and inspect all shipments of children's products from China that contain paint."
Toys, however, are not the only products that have been recalled
from China recently. There have been recalls of counterfeit
toothpaste, contaminated pet food and unsafe car tires just to name
There have also been concerns expressed about drug and drug
ingredients imported from developing countries, such as China and India.
Corruption in China's State Food and Drug Administration was so rampant that the government executed its former drug regulator,
Zheng Xiaoyu, in July after he was found guilty of taking
bribes for drug approval.
Health Canada confirmed to PoliticsWatch recently that it relies on companies in
China and India to conduct their own testing of active drug ingredients for export to Canadian drug makers.
"The foreign manufacturer is responsible for conducting active pharmaceutical ingredient testing," Health Canada told PoliticsWatch.
"Canadian importers must conduct finished product testing only. The foreign fabricator must conduct raw material (active pharmaceutical ingredient) testing. Canadian fabricators who import active pharmaceutical ingredients for use as raw materials must test each lot, before using them to make finished products."
Although China's drug regulator has vowed to invest $1 billion to
upgrade its inspection and safety some industry observers doubt that
will be a sufficient amount to reduce concerns.
"The Chinese FDA just doesn't have the infrastructure," Les
Funtleyder, drug analyst for Miller Tabak, recently told
CNNMoney.com. "They don't have the hundreds of inspectors who go out
(to check factories). They don't have the training. Until they bring things up to speed, I'm not sure the FDA is going to just accept drugs made in China."
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