Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Another toy recall has hit the news. Combined with antifreeze in hotel toothpaste a few days earlier and loads of other product recalls nothing is safe to use or buy. While watching a news report I began thinking if a child chewing on a lead toy for months could get lead poisoning what about the person who made it? What kind of pollution/contamination is in and around the factory that is making these products? To get an idea read the China posts at Globalisation and the Environment. In my opinion, the world has not only outsourced their jobs to China but their pollution as well. Developed economies have regulations and inspections to keep corporations from doing too much damage. However, regulation can only do so much with limited inspection. The biggest element that has moved production offshore is bad publicity that can be generated by a free press. Nothing would be worse than an evening news report that workers at a local toy factory are suffering lead poisoning making your child's toys. China not only lacks regulation and/or enforcement, but they do not have a free press or comparable freedom to challenge the destruction of their environment. It is the backlash from bad publicity that will force change. Citizens in developed countries should not only look at China, though. Plenty of us stand by silently and watch as our environment is also polluted or "developed" for housing. We have a responsibility to take action and protect ourselves and our future.