These past weeks have seen a number of stories unveiled about quality issues on China productions, mainly on the food & drugs industries - and recently in the Toys industry.
There are stories about this bun maker using cardboards found on the streets in his products, the counterfeit drinking water sold in Beijing, or the infamous use of antifreeze chemicals inside toothpaste...
Finally, these last days, Dora the Explorer returned home, with Mattel announcing a recall for 1.5 million toys made in China (containing excessive lead levels).
The matter is getting very concerning for the Chinese government. The execution of the the ex-Food & Drugs Administration chief Zheng Xiaoyu, after being convicted for bribery charges (he took about 6,5 million RMB to let defective drugs get SFDA approval, ultimately causing the death of at least a dozen patients) will certainly not be enough to restore the reputation of the "made in China".
Figures given by the Herald Tribune sound scary : 23,000 cases uncovered of fake or low-quality food between December & May, only 81% of the food tested in a nationwide survey up to safety standards (improving from 78% the year before),
Chinese government was prompt to react, with the implementation of guarantee seals from the Quarantine administration on all food exported items in next September, the tightening of drugs approval procedures, or the implementation of a daily reporting system on food safety.
The risk that these stories hamper the long expected restoration of the Chinese leadership with the coming Beijing Olympics in August 2008, while the world will be watching closely, is high.
I can't help but insist on the importance of the Quality Inspections on-site, as much for every importer buying from China, as for the manufacters themselves who are willing to establish their reputation and improve.