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China: Crisis on “Made in China”

The anger on the poisonous milk powder incident continues to roar everyday. Apart from Sanlu (三鹿), the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China(國家質檢總局) released last night (Sept 16) that one fifth of baby powder manufacturers in the country are involved in the melamine scandal. 22 dairy enterprises, including national brands like Yili (伊利)and Meng Niu(蒙牛)are involved in manufacturing poisonous milk powder. Up till now, at least 6,422 6,244 babies got sick with kidney stone disease.

Following I-fan and Bob Chen's posts, here is another update on the public sentiment in China.

Don't buy “Made in China”

William long is outraged by the Internet censorship practice in this crisis and urged: if you really love this country, please don't buy “Made in China”

今天我博客上讨论的关于某某奶粉事件的文章被上面的人要求删除了,我感觉这个企业的公关能力真的很不错,在中国,最佳的企业公关不就是这样吗?把企业的利益和政府的利益捆绑在一起,以政府的行政力量来为企业公关,将网络和舆论上所有不利于自己的信息都删除,这是何等的舆论优势啊。这样,所有不明真相的人们可以继续喝你们制造的奶粉,在不知不觉中走进坟墓了。

Today, I was requested to delete a blog post about the Sanlu milk powder incident. The public relation capacity of this company is really strong, isn't that a model of China best enterprise? To tie the interest of the company with the interest of the government and use the government's administrative power to do the company's PR and delete all the information and opinions that are against the company's interest. Sure they are in a powerful position. Then all those people who don't know the truth will still by your milk powder and walk into the grave.

The blogger then comments ironically:

  

中国最大的问题就是人太多,特别是有知识、有思想的人太多,如果这些人都死掉的话,中国就没有任何问题了。

The greatest problem in China is that we have too many people who have knowledge and independent thought, if all these people are dead, we don't have anymore problem.

  

听说这个企业还曾经要花300万去公关百度等门户网站,看来真是小看了它,其实只要花一半的钱去政府进行公关就足够了。

There is hearsay there the enterprise spent 3 million yuans in search engine, it seems that we have underestimated its power, they only need to spend half the amount to push the government's PR machine.

  

如果你真的爱国,请一定记住,不要购买中国制造的任何产品。

If you are a genuinely patriot, please remember, don't buy any “made in China” product!

Shen Yizhe agrees that for the sake of our future generation, we should be critical of our national products:

再这么下去,海洛因、冰毒的制贩都快失业了,而国家的中长期禁毒斗争将转移到食品加工业。看着新西兰总理用一副不可思议的表情讲述着河北省地方政府试图掩盖毒奶粉事件,并拖延召回三鹿产品后,这时候日本人一定会想起毒饺子,这个到现在都没有结论的无头公案,和毒奶粉同样出自河北。此时,是不是该换日本人抵制中国货了?用韩寒的话说,抵制日货是因为日本人伤害了我们的感情,而支持国货的下场是我们的下一代付出了健康和生命的代价。孰重孰轻,一看便知。

If the situation goes on like this, real drug dealers would probably lose their job and the nation's anti-drug campaign would move to the food industry. When the New Zealand Prime Minister commented on the Hebei province government's intension to cover up the poisonous milk power issue and delay the recall of Sanlu product, his facial expression told us that he felt the whole thing incredible and ridiculous. We must have reminded the Japanese about the poisonous dumpling incident, which the truth hasn't been revealed yet. Both the dumpling and the milk powder come from Hebei province, I guess it is now the Japanese's turn to boycott China product. Using what twocold's expression, “boycotting Japanese product is an expression of our feeling, but the price for supporting our national products is our next generation's health and life.” So which one weights more?

Instead of advocating boycott, Wang Xiaofeng educates the consumers in China by doing some simple mathematics:

其实大家可以好好算算这道算术题,当某一种食品在自然界中的产量很少,但是市场上数量又很多,你可就要小心了,如果不掺假,那是不可能的。尤其是打着“绿色食品”“无公害食品”“有机食品”幌子的,您尽量别碰。牛奶里面无牛奶,果汁里面无果汁……有一天我在超市里看到Tang果珍,配方里的东西跟水果居然无关。你算算吧,橙子的产量是有限的,哪有那么多果肉工人挥霍。我去超市买东西,很多时候耽误在研究包装纸上的配料表上了,很多东西我看着就难受,能不买基本上不买。

Please do the mathematics carefully, when the food is a scarce product in the natural world, but we have abundant of it in the market, you need to be careful. It is rather impossible that they do not add extra substances inside. Don't touch the products which stress “green” or “organic”. There is no real milk in milk, not real fruit in the fruit juice… I once spotted a Tang fruit product, and there isn't any fruit in the ingredient. Please do the calculation. We have very limited oranges in the country, where can we get so many fruit for the mass food industry? When i shop in the supermarket, most of the time i spent is on the ingredient table. I feel very bad and will try to avoid buying these products.

Covering up

Comes Violet(紫罗兰奔你来)got some internal information from Yili's milk station in Inner Mongolia asking the workers in the station to remove all kinds of chemicals such as Hydrogen peroxide and melamine, and destroy all the milk products that contain starch and other chemicals.

The writer urges reporters from all over the country and overseas to go to Inner Mongolia for uncovering the story:

内蒙古的奶站加三聚氰胺是向山西省的奶农们学习的,经验是从山西传过来的,这些东西奶农们都知道,他们说,山西的奶牛根本在品质方面就不是奶牛,但是那里的奶却合格,而内蒙古本地的奶就不合格,最后发现山西那边的奶站就是加了三聚氰胺才合格的,所以现在往奶里掺三聚氰胺,淀粉,双氧水是一个公开的秘密。

The practice of adding melamine comes from Shanxi. Their milk's quality is not as good as inner Mongolia, but milk powder coming from Inner Mongolia could not pass the protein standard. On the other hand, because of melamine, Shanxi's milk managed to pass the test. That's why it is an open secret for the milk station to add melamine, starch and Hydrogen peroxide.

现在主要是没有中央媒体的记者来采访,实际上问一下当地的老百姓,就能找到奶站和奶农,他们就和我说的一致,可惜我当时没有录音,因为我不是记者。

Now the main problem is that we don't have reporters here to interview milk farmers, what they said will be consistence with my information. Unfortunately, I am not a reporter and I haven't recorded the details.

How about Olympic milk product?

Twocold (韓寒)notices the mainstream news reports stressed that milk products for the Olympics are not contaminated:

通过这次事件,我终于认识到,我们真是一个礼仪之邦。你看小日本,把好的留给自己国家,稍差一点的出口。而我们始终是有骨气的国家,就要和小日本反着来,这才是反日。

I finally realize from this incident that our country is really full of courtesy. Look at Japan, they leave their citizens the best product and export the secondary ones overseas. For our country, we are doing the opposite thing. This is really “anti-Japan”.

However, Nickwong doubts whether the Olympic milk products are really safe:

1、如果国家承认奥运会使用或出口奶制品含有三聚氰胺,则将有引发国际丑闻和外交事故的危机,所以即使有,政府也不敢承认,反正都已被人吃掉或扔掉了。(希望能有国外的有心人查过尚未正式闭幕的残奥会);2、但如果照国家和三鹿的说法,牛奶掺毒仅是不法奶农所为(警方很快抓获疑凶,办其他案也不见这么快过),连三鹿公司1100多项先进的检测程序都没法检验出来,何以肯定奥运会使用的伊利奶制品不含三聚氰胺?

1. If the government admitted that Olympics and export milk products contain melamine, it would become an international scandal and crisis. I don't think they dare to admit that. In any case, the products have been consumed. (I hope that someone could double check the Paralympic Game's milk product). 2. According to Sanlu and the government's explanation, the melamine was added by milk farmers (the police act on that extremely effectively) and escaped the 1,100 quality tests by Sanlu, how can they be so sure that Yili's products at the Olympics do not contain melamine?

The blogger also notices that back in 2007, a milk station manager complains that since 2005 the industry has started adding extra substances in the milk, including some sort of protein powder and fat powder. But his complaint was neglected by Yili.

Who is to wipe the ass?

Heibei government tried to pacify the anger by taking up the medical cost of the sick babies. However, Caodan wonders why Hebei government has to wipe the ass for Sanlu in the incident:

实在是太操蛋了,虽然看起来它是一个非常有爱心的举动。但为什么这份钱由政府来出?政府哪来的钱?还不是纳税人的?但为什么人家纳了这个税,要去让政府帮三鹿擦这个屁股?还是说,政府在给自己擦屁股?但河北政府又说,河北政府在三鹿集团里没有股份。

那么,这是一家企业因自己的产品不合格而导致其消费者受害,理应由他自己来赔偿。而且它还是个营业额高达70亿之多的企业 ,为什么会把这笔帐算在河北政府,即河北纳税人头上?这实在是太令人费解了。

This is f__king ridiculous, it looks as if the government is showing its care for the people. But why should the cost be taking up by the government? Where does the government money come from? Isn't it from all the tax payers? Why let our government to wipe Sanlu's ass with our money? Or the government is actually wiping its own ass? But the Hebei government claimed that they didn't hold any Sanlu's stock.

This enterprise hurts their consumers with its own product, they should pay the compensation. Moreover, its turnover has reached 7 billion yuans, why should Hebei government / tax payer bear the consequence? This is unbelievable!

According to the latest news, several party leaders in the Hebei province have stepped down because of their involvement in the Sanlu milk powder scandal.

62 comments

  • please remember that back in 2005 some milk farmers have been complaining about the adding of chemicals in the milk. and in 2007, the story go to people’s daily. why didn’t the government and regulatory bodies act on it? why we have to wait until new zealand to disclose the whole thing?

    yes, the chinese government is now trying to help the families involved, however, it also tries to stop the media for pursuing the truth. if people involved are not punished, they will do it again and again. because they know that whenever something bad happened, they can use the government to wipe their own ass and tell its people that how good is china government compared to the u.s or else where.

    if you read the people’s daily story in 2007 carefully, you will see how ridiculous it is that milk from very good cows could not pass the protein standard while milk from poor cows passed the so-called quality standard.

    i suspect the quality standard is following western milk product and their cows are feed with corns and other crops. this is quite impossible in china. in order to reach that unreachable standard, they added the chemicals.

    don’t ask me if i am a taiwanese, what’s the point? if you are really chinese and love the chinese babies, help to find out the truth and get the bad guys punished. don’t waste your time doing propaganda for the government.

  • Supersaint

    People are being caught and brought up to justice. do you have additional information on this? If so, present it here and we will ask the government to catch the culprits. If you do not have, it is useless to bark here and try to get heroic score by doing this.

    So, it is easy to say tighten the law and all to prevent it in 2001. If you are that good, why didnt you suggest what is the law that should be implemented at that time? I’m not the government propagandist and i’m not even staying in China. I’m just fed up of you people reporting what you really don’t know of. Bashing will not help anything especially if everybody has already know about the event. If you really want to earn some respect, go find out the truth and report something that we not know yet!

  • posion lover

    @supersaint,”i’m not even staying in China.” that is the point.
    Most of the bloggers that write comments here live outside of China, like you, supersaint.Of course you can say nasty things about CNN, BBC, USA, George Bush, the Queen, or whoever. You are protected by the “freedom of speech law”, you can say whatever you like. Try doing that when next time you are inside China, more than likely you will end up like Yang Jia, or Hu jia.
    When you are forced to live among poisonous water and air, and most of the food is contaminated with poisons, you would talk differently, supersaint.

  • There are more and more instances of things being exposed in China as being wrong. In recent months we have had scandals over pollution, human rights and tibet, and there will be more news stories to come. But I see that as a sign of how things are improving, not as a sign that China is a terrible place.

    Stories like this are being released now when they were not before. In this way, the government can deal with the problems that arise, and in time it will be able to put in place the regulations that are required to prevent these things from happening in the first place.

    As supersaint says, the media in the west is one-sided too, and the west is not perfect either. Both need improvements, and through openness and debate, both are being improved. Hooray!

  • Supersaint

    Poison Lover,

    I have been to China once and seen the people there. I also have many more friends from China, and some who are currently working there and are from my country. It is not true that they are not allowed to protest and oppress of their freedom of speech. They can complain about the government if there are any misdeed. Unless those protest are chaotic, threaten the security of the country or about Dalai Lama, everything will be fine. Every country prohibits riot just like the one in tibet. Although I agree with anyone who advocates about giving freedom to the people to worship dalai lama if they wish or any other people they wish, I would understand the Chinese government’s stance regarding this issue. But that is not the point here. All countries have good and bad instances and inequalities. And I would be happy to see if the country improvise itself and not fall backwards.

    What GrinnyGuy says is quite right and what I always agree on. If you people despise Xinhua for reporting everything good about China, What is the difference about the western media like CNN then? We need a more neutral reporting which is all the reporters’ work ethics should be. But what we are all seeing here are biased on either extreme. On both ends, it will not help anyone. Not even the victim.

  • now that someone admits that s/he doesn’t know, then why s/he is so sure that the government is “trying its best to provide its people”?

    why doesn’t s/he asks why the hell Sanlu got the inspection exemption from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China?

    now that s/he asks me to suggest what law to tighten to prevent the incident, come on, i am not the government and i never pretend to be. but i know now that a group of netizens in china who live under the threat of poisonous food are calling the head of Quality supervision to step down and abolish the inspection exemption policy. they are not CNN nor people quoted in this blog post represented the western media.

    please try to feel the pain and anxiety from the grassroot people’s position.

  • Supersaint

    You are so naievely thinking that your action of blasting and all your barking would help? Why don’t you go breast feed the children? I think that will be a better cause.

    As we all know probably know the inspection is not well conducted and the law is probably not adequate or not well enforced, lets find a better solution to prevent future occurrence.

    We often hear lame cheap reporting from western media complaining everything China. Well, I did not say they are not true by the way. What I am advocating is to give constructive reporting instead. There are problems, so what? Should they just burn down the whole country just because of it? Next time, for every negativity you report, give 10 possible solutions if you really care. If you do that, probably I would solute you. It is far better than you trying to be superwoman by cut and paste what others have already found out everything negatives about China. If you are no expert, and provide no construction, just keep your damn mouth shut.

    I also have many friends staying in china by the way, all of them the grassroot people of working adults. I talk to them about the progress of the country and what are their thoughts and opinion on current issues. I would like to find out more about the issues from the ground perspectives rather than listening and reading from biasness of any side be it xinhua or western medias. What have you done so far besides opening your big mouth?

  • […] The “boycott made in china” calls do not seem so racist any more, especially now that Chinese are making the calls for the boycott themselves. […]

  • Pointdexler

    Frankly, the government of china is good and honest… its their families, relatives and guanxi that is the problem in China… come on.. u tell me that the local government is not aware of this till now? The supply chain stretches from supplier, distributor, production, quality, finances, marketing etc.. all the way to the top… u tell me no one knew of this until some babies died…

    Supersaint… i give u 1 constructive solution… remove the “guanxi” in this whole chain of command and replace it with fair and open accountability, then china will be an even powerful nation…

  • posion lover

    @ Supersaint, Quote: “Why don’t you go breast feed the children?” Unquoted

    For this comment alone, I can say you are 父母教育缺乏, translate: lack of good parenting,
    (1)because you have insulted Lam, who is a lady, probably not married yet.Such a comment will more than likely come from someone who was brought up in a broken family,or brought up in a slum area,where there is a lot of violence, a lot of rough talks, you smash me I smash you kind of talks, not suitable on an international forum funded by Harvard Law School.Had Supersaint came from a proper and normal family, he would never say such a comment to his mother or sister, would you, Supersaint?
    (2)This kind of behavior can only be classified as 壞蛋, bad egg, “goons and thugs”, a perfect term coined by the famous CNN anchor man.
    As a “bad egg”, “goons and thugs”, you not only insulted Qiwan Lam, who is a young and brave lady, you have also insulted millions of Chinese mothers, who are still using poison milk to feed their babies because they themselves do not have enough breast milk for the babies,because they have no choice.
    (3) Supersaint, you have also insulted millions of sick children, who had no choice but to drink poison milk.
    Qiwan Lam has love and compassion in her heart, she has human feelings for other suffering human feelings, like Buddha once said: “我不下地獄, 誰下地獄” translate: If by going down to Hell, and I can save some souls, then to Hell I will go.”
    Supersaint, after reading all your comments, for this I can say, you not only “goons and thugs”, you are from 地獄, Hell is where you come from, now Go To Hell.

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