Who Do We Blame for Tainted Chinese Products?
Health problems reported with ingredients sourced from China continue to appear in US headlines. The use of melamine substituted for more expensive protein based ingredients caused a pet food industry-wide recall in 2007. More recently, dried real chicken strips from China have been associated with a statistically significant number of pet illnesses and deaths. Though the cause has yet to be found by the FDA, the current suspect is a glycerin that is thought to be extracted from a controversial source. (FYI vegetable glycerin is normally a harmless, natural ingredient found in many foods that is used to keep the chicken strips supple when dried.) To learn more about current thinking on the China chicken strip phenomenon, visit http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-news/chinese-dog-treats-glycerin .
China has been the source of tainted milk powder used in baby formula, toxic lead paint used in children's toys and even drywall that emits sulfurous gases after installed on interior walls of homes. The people of China are no better or worse as human beings than people found anywhere else on the planet. What is unique in China is that economic growth is rapidly outpacing the ability of its government to monitor and regulate its manufacturers.
So what changed to make a two thousand year old, mostly agrarian Chinese civilization the second largest and fastest growing economy in the world? The answer is that the US changed. After the United States underwent the tremendous growth of its economy in the industrial revolution in the late 19th and early 20th century, the US increasingly placed restrictions on pollution, and regulated companies to protect public safety. For every action, however, there is an equal and opposite reaction. To avoid the increased cost of doing business in the US, companies turned first to Japan to fulfill our appetite for inexpensive goods. In the late 20th century, just about any small item you might wish to turn over in a US home would have a sticker saying "Made in Japan". As Japan instituted their own clean environment and minimum wage standards, China then began to receive business from the US as a low cost manufacturer of goods.
Today, companies like WalMart have become conduits of a flood less expensive manufactured goods from China of every type and variety. Unable to compete with below poverty level wages in China, small businesses that were the foundation of local economies across the US have been forced to close at an unprecedented rate. US trade imbalances with China currently run $200 Billion dollars per year. Think about it. Every five years, the US economy loses one trillion dollars to China that will never pay salaries and fuel business growth at home.
So who then, is to blame for China's ingredient and quality problems? The answer is that, for the most part, the US has created these problems. US elected officials blame recessions and unemployment on anything but trade deficits, and Americans continue to vote for them. The bottom line is that as long as it is easier for some US businesses to buy goods overseas than manufacture them at home, the US economy will continue to stall and product quality will continue to remain a problem.
Note: DNA Pet Foods use no ingredients sourced from China. This means that in some cases, we pay up to five times more for an important ingredient like Taurine. When it comes to the safety of your pet (and the good of our economy), we think it is worth it, and hope you do too.