Category Archives: recalls

Girl Scout Cookie Recall

Heh. And they all laughed 10 days ago when I said Girl Scout cookies sucked. They not only suck, they stink:

A Kentucky bakery recalled one variety of Girl Scout cookie this week after customers complained of a “foul smell and taste,” the Associated Press reports. The recall affects Lemon Chalet Cremes distributed in Maryland and two dozen other states.

The baker, Louisville-based Little Brownie Bakers, traced the problem to a breakdown of oils. They say:

No one has gotten sick and the company contends that the cookies, though “not up to our quality standards,” are safe to eat.

Well isn’t that special. Those oils that are breaking down, unfortunately, are trans fats. The nutritional label notwithstanding, food manufacturers are able to make their foods appear healthier on their packaging by manipulating the portion size.

Food blog Fork & Bottle explains:

Food manufacturers are allowed to list amounts of trans fat with less than 0.5 gram per serving as zero on the Nutrition Facts panel. As a result, consumers are seeing products that list zero gram transfat on the label, while the ingredient list will have “shortening” or “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” on it.”

The serving size might be as small as two cookies, but let’s be real: no one eats just two.

Anyway, the food blog makes suggestions on other ways to support the Girl Scouts besides buying cookies. The easiest thing is to make a donation and tell your scout to keep the cookies.

Personally, while I’m concerned about the trans fats and high fructose corn syrup, I’m even more annoyed that despite all this toxic crap the cookies still taste bad. If you’re going to pollute your body at least you should get something enjoyable out of it.

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Filed under rants, recalls

>It’s a Floor Wax AND A Dessert Topping!

>Oh for crying out loud. I’ve blogged about this before but who the hell makes a child’s toy out of a freaking date rape drug? China, that’s who:

Toys linked to a date-rape drug recalled

China-made beads for kids metabolize into GhB when ingested

WASHINGTON – Millions of Chinese-made toys have been pulled from shelves in North America and Australia after scientists found they contain a chemical that converts into a powerful “date rape” drug when ingested. Two children in the U.S. and three in Australia were hospitalized after swallowing the beads.

With only seven weeks until Christmas, the recall is yet another blow to the toy industry — already bruised by a slew of recalls last summer.

In the United States, the toy goes by the name Aqua Dots, a highly popular holiday toy distributed by Toronto-based Spin Master Toys. It is called Bindeez in Australia, where it was named toy of the year at an industry function earlier this year.

Moose Enterprises said Bindeez and Aqua Dots are made at the same factory, which is located in Shenzhen in China’s southern Guangdong province. Last week the Chinese government announced an export ban on more than 700 toy factories in the region because of shoddy products.

It’s the free hand of the market, Chinese-style. The same free hand that brought us melamin-tainted dog food and antifreeze-contaminated cough syrup.

Side effects of swallowing the GhB-laden Aqua-Dots include “unconsciousness, seizures, drowsiness, coma and death”:

The two U.S. children who swallowed Aqua Dot beads went into nonresponsive comas, commission spokesman Scott Wolfson said Wednesday. A 20-month-old has recovered completely while the other child, whose age was not known, has been released from a hospital after five days and is recovering, he said.

Thankfully, we still have a somewhat-functioning government, where underfunded government agencies the Consumer Product Safety Commission are at least able to read news reports from Australia and issue a product recall.

Keep that in mind next time a Republican or Libertarian tells you the government is too big and we need to get rid of “useless agencies” like this one.

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Filed under China, imports, recalls

>What’s The Matter With China?

>We’ve turned to China to manufacture everything from cough syrup to dog food to cheap plastic crap sold at Wal-Mart, but I think it’s time we got to the bottom of this:

WASHINGTON, June 18 — China manufactured every one of the 24 kinds of toys recalled for safety reasons in the United States so far this year, including the enormously popular Thomas & Friends wooden train sets, a record that is causing alarm among consumer advocates, parents and regulators.
. . .
Over all, the number of products made in China that are being recalled in the United States by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission has doubled in the last five years, driving the total number of recalls in the country to 467 last year, an annual record.

It also means that China today is responsible for about 60 percent of all product recalls, compared with 36 percent in 2000.

This is very scary to me. Because it’s not just cheap plastic toys anymore, it’s everything. Not only have we had the pet food-melamine scare originating in China, but also recalls of toxin-laced monkfish, tainted cough syrup and toxic toothpaste. People are dying around the world because of this. Hello! Is anyone paying attention?

What’s scary is that, in this globalized economy, you can’t look for the “made in China” label and avoid those products. Stuff isn’t made anymore, it’s assembled, and the components come from all over.

Remind me, who thought this was a good idea?

Last week the Chinese authorities destroyed U.S. imports of raisins and health supplements. They cited safety reasons:

“The products failed to meet the sanitary standards of China,” the agency said in a brief notice posted on its Web site. No details were given on when or how the inspections were conducted.

The agency said it was asking “all local departments to increase quarantine examinations of foods imported from the United States.”

Oh, we’re so sorry. I’m just glad to know you folks have standards. Now, would you mind applying them to the stuff you send to us?

Not coincidentally, yesterday the Chinese balked at U.S. lead limits on children’s toys.

The Chinese government opposes a proposed U.S. standard limiting the amount of lead allowed in bracelets, necklaces and other jewelry sold for children.

All but three of more than 30 Consumer Product Safety Commission recalls for lead in children’s jewelry since 2003 were for China-made items. The others were made in India.

Little bit of tit-for-tat here, you think? Maybe a bit of, “you take our melamine wheat gluten or we won’t buy your California raisins”?

I’d say “screw ‘em,” except I really don’t think the American consumer is willing to pay the price–literally. What would these things cost if they were made here in the USA? What does it cost us when they’re not?

I realize China is a communist country, but as it operates with the rest of the world, it’s the “free market system” run amok. No standards, no regulations — it’s like the freaking Wild West out there! When the “free hand of the market” intervenes in the form of product recalls, it’s already too late for thousands of people and pets, dead from diethylene glycol or melamine poisoning. Next time I need to buy cough syrup or dog food, I’d like to know that key pieces of it aren’t made in China. But there’s no way of knowing.

The only way to be perfectly safe is to make this stuff yourself. Great. Can the model for consumer safety in the new millenium really be “Little House On The Prairie”?


Filed under China, globalization, imports, recalls