Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fake & Contaminated China Products

Fake | Contaminated China Products

It boggles the mind to think of the amount of fake / contaminated goods coming out of China due to lax supervision and enforcement by Chinese authorities. This is sad as it will hurt honest Chinese manufacturers wanting to find a place in world markets. It is good to see that in recent months, the Chinese authorities are stepping up enforcement and help clear its name as a reliable supplier of products.

Counterfeited / pirated / shoddy products like illegal DVDs of Hollywood blockbuster movies, Gucci / Louis Vuitton bags, computer software, S-Yard golf clubs and Rolex watches.

Industrial products are also subject to counterfeiting such as motor engines, compressed natural gas (CNG) to inferior fertilizers, construction materials, gas stoves, household appliances, light truck tires. Where will it all stop?

Probably the worst is China's "black-hearted" goods. Products that can impair your health or even kill you. The most serious of which is the use of an industrial plastic chemical Melamine added to milk and animal feed resulting in contaminated dairy products and eggs and all products that use these milk / egg products to make other products. Chinese products that have been recall included milk (most notably Sanlu Milk Powder), biscuits, yogurt, chocolate, ice cream, whey products and other products need milk as an ingredient.

There's also fake mineral water, beer, fruit drinks, eggs, cigarettes and adulterated medicine from China.

Pet foods and children toys are also laced with dangerous chemicals which can make them ill.

Then you have tooth picks made from contaminated wood waste to recycled syringes recycled from hospitals etc.

Animals, Fish and other marine animals fed with pesticides and antibiotics (this problem is not limited to China only).

If you eat at shady restaurants in China, you may be served with leftover food from earlier diners' plates.

I-Tec Supermarket
I-Tec Supermarket was the first establishment in Singapore to be convicted and fined $5,000 for selling melamine-tainted China-made milk products after a ban came into effect on Sept 19, 2008. A raid by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Services (AVA) on I-Tec's Serangoon branch found 50 bottles of China-made "Dutch Lady Strawberry-flavored Milk' as well as other milk products from China being displayed on its shelves and in refrigerators for sale. I-Tec's Balestier Road outlet on the same day, AVA also found the same brand on sale.

Warnings have been reportedly issued to 10 other retail outlets but an AVA spokesperson said no other prosecutions are in the pipeline.

How can you protect yourself from these toxic products?

Read the products' packaging label. In particular, their UPC (barcode). It is not enough to read the "Made in" as this can be deceptive as a product made in China may be repackaged in your country and therefore have a made in Singapore label although the origin of the product is China.

Even if the product in made outside China there is no guarantee that the product is safe as the imported raw materials they use may be from unreliable sources which may be contaminated with melamine or other dangerous substances.

To help you read UPC barcodes to find out the country of origin of the product, here is the UPCs of countries which are major supplier of food products to Singapore:

UPC country barcodes:

00 - 13 USA & Canada
471 Taiwan
480 Philippines
489 Hong Kong
490 - 499 Japan
500 - 509 United Kingdom
690 - 695 China
885 Thailand
888 Singapore
890 India
893 Vietnam
899 Indonesia
930 - 939 Australia
940 - 949 New Zealand
955 Malaysia
958 Macau

As of 28 November 2008 (as reported in Straits Times "Sales ban lifted, but consumers wary", the following 6 products have been banned due to the products being tainted by melamine:

  • Baby Looney Tunes Crem Filled Biscuits Assorted Family Pack
  • C & OK vigour 888 Egg & Mi8lk
  • Khong Guan Mini Burger Biscuit Bulk Pack
  • Liluo Fruit P.D. Almond Flavor
  • Potter Potato Chips Pizza
  • Tom & Jerry Cheese Balls

China-made products cleared for sale by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) some 327 have made their way back onto Singapore stores which was previously banned due to melamine contamination:

  • Dove chocolate bars
  • M&M candies
  • Mentos chewy yogurt balls
  • Vitasoy soya bean milk (four pack)
  • JJ Bandung drinks
  • Nestle Milk & Berry Star Cereal
  • Want Want seaweed rice cracker
  • Nissin Bowl Noodles XO Seafood
  • Ego Assorted Chocolae (bag of 30)
  • Swanson Chicken Broth

Malaysia-made products on the tainted list (Straits Times 25 October 2008 "20 more products found tainted with melamine"):

  • Lotte Koala's March Cocoa Chocolate Biscuit
  • Hello Kitty Strawberry Cream Filled Biscuit
  • Unbranded non-dairy creamer in industrial pack (for re-export)
  • Julie's golden Kaka Crackers
  • Julie's Wheat Crackers
  • Julie's Cottage Crackers (Original Yeast Cracker)
  • Julie's chez Creamy Cheese Sandwich
  • Julie's Sugar Crackers (Extra Flaky)
  • Julie's Waferico Chocolate Coated Wafers with Chocolate Cream Filling
  • Julie's Cream Crackers
  • Julie's Minico Rich Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Julie's Peanut Butter Sandwich
  • Julie's Cocoro Crispy Chocolate Wafer Rolls with Vanilla Filling
  • Julie's Le-Monde Puff Sandwich with Lemon flavoured cream
  • Khong Guan Assorted Biscuits
  • Leo gold Finger Choco
  • Santa Chocolate Gold Fingers
  • Swan Chocolate Fingers
Malaysia's Julie's crackers are likely to be allowed for sale by early December 2008.
© - Fake & Contaminated China Products

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