"This suicide serves as a red flag on how serious the situation is involving defective products," says attorney Jeff Killino. "Congress needs to take action now before more lives are lost, both from accidents in the US and suicides in China."
(Zheng Xiaoyu, first director of the State Food and Drug Administration was convicted of taking bribes from domestic pharmaceutical companies to approve untested medicine and was later executed.)
According to The Los Angeles Times, Cheung Shuhung, a co-owner of Lee Der Industrial Co. in southern China, hanged himself in the company's warehouse over the weekend. Apparently, Cheung was sold the defective paint by his best friend, alluding that he knew the paint contained lead. (Mattel had found nearly 1 million plastic preschool toys contained excessive amounts of lead and the company reports that the recall will reduce it pre-tax operating income by $30 million.)
In a separate recall, US toy firm Schylling Associates recalled 24,000 Chinese-made "Thomas & Friends" spinning tops, made from 2001-2002, with wooden knobs that were painted with lead-based paint. They were made by Hansheng Woodware Factory--also in southern China.
Toys are not the only defective products that could potentially harm US consumers. Add to the list pet food, toothpaste, seafood, pharmaceuticals, vitamins and food additives. (The Chinese government says it has closed over 180 food plants.) Face it, Chinese products are pervasive-- even if the label doesn't say 'Made in China', some of the parts might be.
Take vehicles, for instance. Chinese faulty tires have been blamed for a 2006 car accident in Pennsylvania that killed two people. But the tires are still on US roads!
READ MORE LEGAL NEWSOn August 9th, New Jersey-based importer Foreign Tire Sales Inc. (FTS) announced it would recall 255,000 Chinese-made tires it claims were defective because they lack a safety feature: a gum strip that prevents tread separation. Two months prior to this recall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ordered FTS to recall about 450,000 tires that it bought from Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. since 2002.
The federal government is finally beginning to investigate Chinese safety standards—and many people wonder what has taken them so long.
Is China dumping defective products on US consumers knowingly? Jeff Killino believes the Chinese are putting profits in front of safety.
And Lou Dobbs blames the US government for not protecting its consumers. "Where is congress on this?" he asks in his recent televised commentary. "The Chinese don't care but it should be the responsibility of the US government to ensure safety standards of the American public."
The Federal government is just beginning to investigate Chinese safety standards and Congress has scheduled more hearings in September.