Posted by: Tony Carson | 8 November, 2007

So who put too much lead in the paint? The designer or the manufacturer.

Who is to blame for all these product recalls, China or the companies?

In the vast majority of cases, the products made in China are designed and engineered elsewhere. That would be my guess. You don’t send an email to the manufacturer to make a 4″ truck, you send exact ingredients and specifications ā€” that’s the only way the product can be costed out, the only reason for its production: to make money.

So is China really the culprit or is it a scapegoat? Put another way, is the ‘made in China’ label really a product hazard warning as US Senator Brownback has suggested?

Mattel has apologized for its recall in September, but obliquely:

To an American ear, the news agency reports (of Mattel’s apology) sounded as if the Mattel official was making an apology for any blame placed on China. In the United States, however, Mattel said in a statement that some reports of the meeting had been “mischaracterized.”

Obviously, there is a new corporate tactic in all of this: blame the manufacturer or in China’s case, blame the emerging superpower. Corporations are wonderfully adept at spotting a weakness and then assigning the blame as an expedient deflection.

So who put too much lead in the paint? The designer or the manufacturer. We deserve to know. Immediately.

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