China has become an industrial powerhouse beyond Mao'swildest dreams. But that success is now threatened by an ever-growing list ofsafety problems with Chinese-made products. First it was petfood contaminated with melamine. Then toothpastecontaining diethylene glycol. Two weeks ago: ahuge recall on Thomas & Friends toys coated with lead paint. Earlierthis week, we learned about unsafetires that need to be recalled. Can we no longer trust products made inChina?
Here are some startling statistics: The number ofChinese-made products that are being recalled in the U.S. has doubled in thelast five years, helping to drive the total number of recalls in this countryto an annual record of 467 last year. Chinese-made products account for 60percent of all consumer-product recalls, and 100 percent of all 24 kinds oftoys recalled so far this year. Even China’s own government auditing agencyfound that 20 percent of the toys made and sold in China had safetyhazards.