Archive for ‘Illegal chemicals’


* Ex-minister blames China’s pollution mess on lack of rule of law

SCMP: “China had a chance to avoid environmental disasters some 40 to 30 years ago, the country’s first environmental protection chief has lamented amid worsening air and water pollution.


But Professor Qu Geping, who has overseen environmental policymaking since the early 1970s, said pollution had run wild as a result of unchecked economic growth under a “rule of men”, as opposed to the rule of law. Their rule imposed no checks on power and allowed governments to ignore environmental protection laws and regulations.

“I would not call the past 40 years’ efforts of environmental protection a total failure,” he said. “But I have to admit that governments have done far from enough to rein in the wild pursuit of economic growth … and failed to avoid some of the worst pollution scenarios we, as policymakers, had predicted.”

Qu, 83, was China’s first environmental protection administrator between 1987 and 1993. He then headed the National People’s Congress environment and resource committee for 10 years.

After three decades of worsening industrial pollution resulting from rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, China has accumulated huge environmental debts that will have to be paid back, Qu said.

He said recently he regretted that some of the very forward-looking strategies – emphasising a more balanced and co-ordinated approach to development and conservation, that were worked out as early as 1983 – were never put into serious practice when China was still at an early stage of industrialisation.

In 1970, premier Zhou Enlai had invited a Japanese journalist to give a lecture to senior government officials on the lessons Japan had learned from a series of heavy metal pollution scandals that killed several hundred people during a period of rapid industrialisation in the 1950s and 1960s, Qu said.

“But looking back, China fell into the same trap again,” he said. “In some cases, the problems are even worse now given the country’s huge population and the vast scale of its economy.”

via Ex-minister blames China’s pollution mess on lack of rule of law | South China Morning Post.

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* Report confirms blog’s power in fighting graft

This research report confirms what has been obvious for several years: the power of the Internet over formal communications channels.

China Daily: “Micro blogs, like the social networking site Sina Weibo, have improved authority’s efficiency in handling anti-corruption cases, but also pose challenges in distinguishing true from false, according to a recently released report by Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Public Opinion Research Lab.

Of the 24 widespread micro blog reports this year, nine have been confirmed as frauds, the report said.

“The micro blog plays a major role in fighting corruption nowadays, but posts online need to be carefully sifted to find what is reliable information,” the report said.

As more netizens become familiar with and participate in fighting corruption, more messages spread each day that await authorities’ attention, said Xie Yungeng, an expert in public opinion and new media at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

“A regulation should be established on what kind of reports discipline authorities should respond to and set time limits for their response,” he said.

“The new way of fighting corruption is testing the wisdom and ability of disciplinary bodies,” said Zhu Lijia, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of Governance.”

via Report confirms blog’s power in fighting graft[1]|


* China probes ‘gutter oil in medicine’ claims

BBC News: “Chinese officials have told pharmaceutical firms to check their suppliers after claims that some have used “gutter oil” to make antibiotics, state-run media report.

File photo: Police inspecting illegal cooking oil seized in 2010

Officials are looking into firms that reportedly use the cheaper gutter oil rather than the more expensive soy bean oil in the production process.

Gutter oil is reprocessed kitchen waste dredged from restaurant drains.

It has been part of a series of recent food safety scandals in China.

The government said it would release its findings soon, without giving further details.

It is not clear whether these antibiotics pose a risk to public health, but the incident highlights how some firms cut corners to pursue profits, says the BBC’s Martin Patience in Beijing.

Scandals over contaminated food – most recently gutter oil – have caused considerable public alarm in China in recent years.

In April, state-run media reported on how officials cracked down on underground workshops that used decomposing animal fat and organs to produce gutter oil.

Police said that most of the oil was sold to oil manufacturers for food production and making hotpot soup in restaurants.

In September last year, police arrested 32 people in an operation to prevent the sale of gutter oil as cooking oil.”

via BBC News – China probes ‘gutter oil in medicine’ claims.

There seem to be no limits to the unethical behaviour of some Chinese business people. Central government is trying to do its best, in pharmaceuticals,and  food production, but the miscreants carry on.


* China arrests 1,900 in crackdown on fake drugs

BBC News: “Police in China have arrested more than 1,900 people in a crackdown on the manufacture and sale of fake medicine, authorities said.

The country-wide operation began on 25 July, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement.

Police seized products worth 1.16bn yuan ($182m; £117m).

These included millions of pills made to look like well-known brands used to treat diabetes, hypertension, skin problems and cancer, it said.

Despite the arrests, the problem of fake medicine was ”far from being rooted out”, authorities said.

Drug counterfeiting had become more ”elusive and deceptive” as ”criminals have come up with new methods” despite efforts to root out production and sale channels in recent years, they said.”

via BBC News – China arrests 1,900 in crackdown on fake drugs.


* Tainted children’s clothes scandal in China

A finding of cancer-causing chemicals on children’s clothes sparked public fear yesterday, after a report aired on national state broadcaster China Central Television(CCTV).

The station’s Weekly Quality Report investigative programme carried the report, claiming that a recent Beijing Consumer Association test of 63 samples of children’s clothes sold on the mainland revealed that nearly a third failed to meet quality and safety standards.

The association said that problems included excessive levels of formaldehyde and other carcinogenic chemicals.

The investigation began after consumers started complaining that their children had developed skin rashes after wearing the clothes.

From China Daily Mail blogTainted children’s clothes scandal in China.

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