So avoid Chinese toys if you feel you must. But let's not make this the basis for a big fiesta of anti-China-ism. The factories here can be perfectly safe -- as the best ones are, when middlemen and consumers around the world are willing to pay the price. And before you imagine a giant Chinese plot to poison Americans, think of the people who pay the greatest personal price for unsafe food and products: the average Chinese citizens who eat and use this stuff every single day. http://jamesfallows.theatlantic.com/Along with me.
Thursday, August 16, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT
Mattel's second major toy recall in as many weeks is giving executives a public-relations migraine and investors the jitters. The episode is another example of China's difficulties in meeting Western quality standards. But in the rush to apportion blame for this latest safety scare, China is coming in for more than its fair share.
Senator Dick Durbin (D., Illinois) jumped right in, calling for a new requirement that all toys from China be tested for lead paint at the border. Never mind that 97% of the recalled products had nothing to do with lead paint. Those looking for excuses to raise the costs of trading with China will hit upon any pretext.
Of the approximately 18.6 million toys recalled world-wide,