Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Hidden Costs of Doing Business with China

The scene when Kashikulu walks into the Wal-Mart store in his neighborhood in Chicago USA, may be far cry to scene the Kashikulu would encounter, when walking into City Market in Lusaka a few years ago. The origin of the majority of the products on sell in both markets however, is ironically the same; they all bear the famous Made in China label.

In the past weeks, Wal-Mart has pulled hundreds of thousands of toys with the label made in China- off its shelves. Mattel the largest, US toy distribution firm has recalled the toys supplied to Wal-Mart stores, because their Chinese manufacturers used lead based paint on the toys. Americans are so fearful, of the serious threat, lead poisoning poses to their children; they have spared no effort to curb this threat.
My former roomie in Lusaka reliably informs me, there is no talk or action on such fears in Zambia. In fact my roomie continued, our President Mwanawasa has created such an enabling environment that, Chinese businesses have taken on every manner of commence and trade including mines, shops, roads repairs even poultry farming. POULTRY FARMING!!! Kashikulu exclaimed, yes said ba roomie - bafya abantu naba Mwankole kumushi! Kashikulu responded.
Am, no expert in poultry farming, but don’t poultry farmers use hormones and steroids on chicks to enhance growth and prevent disease?
The international media is awash with reports of some Chinese doctors manufacturing and administering fake hormones and anti biotics to human patients. Is there a chance, some of these Chinese poultry farmers in Zambia, might source and use these fake and dangerous Chinese hormones or anti biotics on the chicks they are raising in Zambia.
Think of the impact and threat this would introduce, to Zambia’s food chain. I do not mean to alarm anyone, but the medical symptoms of exposure to such factors may take a long time to manifest and our hospitals may not even have the expertise to correctly diagnose the cause.
Its not just humans at risk in Zambia, Mwankole your life is also at stake here- you eat chicks too. Please tell the Zambian Government there is a global buyer beware advisory for Chinese products, they need to begin looking into the safety of Chinese imports into Zambia.

1 comment:

Gershom said...

This exactly what I said in one of my postings on my blog at http// a few weeks ago.