Made In China

The Health of Our Famillies Is Important

For the most part, I have been a “made in the USA” kind of consumer.  It’s important to me to support jobs here in the US because I live in the US.  But, there are also products where the components are made oversees and shipped to the US for final production.  Buying those will also be supporting our workers in my opinion.  Sometimes I can’t find what I want from a US market.  Sometimes the US market is not what I want because regulations in the US for that particular thing (such as some food products) are lower in standard than in places such as Europe or Canada.

My point is that it’s important to be informed before subjecting the health of your family to something you wouldn’t want them to experience.  Don’t just take someone’s word on blind faith or assume that the government always has your best interests at heart.  Remember that money is often the bottom line and decisions are made by corporations based on what makes fiscal sense for the company and its shareholders.  I’m not saying that’s the case in every company.  I have heard of companies who want to do what is best for the consumer.  But, I am saying that you need to be an informed consumer.

One example of a concern that I have is regarding products made in China.   There seem to be endless products coming out of China that have had health problems because the health regulations for manufacturers in China are not the same as in the US, Europe, Canada and a number of other countries.  The list of problem products from the past is not by any means limited to, but includes children’s toys, dry wall, dishes, baby formulas and products, shoes, pet food and toys, jewelry, tools, tires, computer batteries, and even tooth paste.  And yet Corporations keep setting up operations in China.  I understand the fiscal reasons.  However, could it mean increasing health risks for their consumers?

I’ve discovered that this is not always the case.  If a company wants to do business in the US, they have to comply with the USA’s Federal regulations.  And the States also have regulations, sometimes stricter than the Federal Regs.  Since the different states also have varied regulations, a company wanting to do business in the US is wise to take the state with the strictest regulations and make sure that their products comply with those Regs.  So, it isn’t just a given that anything being shipped from China is to be avoided.  There are some very good products coming from China.  Just be sure to do some research.  Look up the company on the internet and see if they post anything about their products in that respect.  If you don’t find anything or have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact them.

This gives you options.  If they choose not to get back to you with an answer, you choose not to purchase their product.  If they respond with only half answers, you may want to keep the dialog open if it’s a product you really want, or write it off if it’s not worth your time and they don’t answer properly.  If they respond and the response isn’t what you expected, you can choose not to purchase their product.  If the response is reasonably quick (give them a number of business days, at the least) and they do answer your questions appropriately, you may decide to go ahead and purchase their product.

I’m going to use my latest purchase as an example.  I was concerned about the new Temp-Tations presentable Ovenware because it’s made in China.  I had not heard that in the sales presentation at QVC.  I wrote to Temp-Tations Customer Service.  Not only did Temp-Tations respond back within 2 1/2 business days, but the response came from the office of the President of Temp-Tations.  They answered my questions, gave me the name of the independent lab that does their testing so that I could check further into it, if need be, and stated that ALL products are tested before being shipped to the US.  Since I had very specifically asked whether ALL products were tested or just a sampling of products, their answer was pretty clear.

They let me know that they comply with FDA Regs as well as California’s Proposition 65, which I understand are some of the strictest in the nation, if not THE strictest.  (You can find a list of the products that are stringently regulated in CA Prop 65 at their site.  Lead, one of my biggest concerns, is found at the bottom of page 12/top of page 13.  Other potential toxins that could also be found in the paint and glaze are also listed there.)

Temp-Tations keeps compliance records in their QA department.  But, not only that, QVC has an extremely stringent QA department.  Every company working with QVC must comply with their requirements.  And they have to keep certification papers at the QVC QA Department.  So, Temp-Tations has three sets of strict regulations and requirements with which to comply.   I think I can go ahead and use the product without further concern about lead, eh?

The bottom line is that you want to be an informed consumer.   Your family’s health is worth doing some research on the safety of the products you want to purchase.

4 Comments

  1. Years ago most companies sold goods with the promise ” Satisfaction guaranteed or money refunded.” When Walmart came along they gave North Americans a new slogan: “The Lowest Price Is The Law”. I’m afraid that mentality has taken over in our society; people want the lowest price rather than something better built that costs more.
    Things can be made cheaper overseas–a lot less overhead–and a lot of times quality is better. Then, because stuff is so cheap, it’s easy to toss if it doesn’t hold up. North American companies fold because no one wants to pay the price they need to charge to cover union wages, management pensions, etc.
    Now we are reaping the rewards of it all: loss of jobs. And with so many long-time companies now closed, you might be hard put-to to find stuff actually MADE in North America. (As my husband learned one time when he was looking for a new dress shirt.) Vicious cycle.

    • So true, Christine. Thanks for your comments. I recently read that some businesses are ready to come back to North America. That would be great. But, of course, the bottom line is money and politics.

  2. jellybeanyee

    I like this TV program Marketplace, it does a good job informing consumers. Here is the link, http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/blog/episodes.html

    • Thank you, jellybeanyee.

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