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Monday, August 06, 2007

Sunshine solution to getting Thomas back on track

Short posts, on holidays (back later this week though folks).

Readers will be aware of the recent fuss about the safety of Chinese exports, including, heaven forbid, Thomas the Tank Engine toys that contain too much lead.

Australians and others at least enjoy some legal protections and the importers and distributors of such products including big brand names, have an incentive to act to protect their reputation. In this editorial the UK Financial Times says that Chinese consumers, who have been subjected to appalling abuses, including the sale of lethal antibiotics and milk powder, don't have information or power to remedy the situation: the Government there resorts to "spectacularly ineffective methods" (like executing the boss of the State Food and Drug Administration) instead of promoting transparent regulation, media freedom and an independent judiciary.

The "sunshine" solution which is usually, at least to some degree, the best remedy. The Financial Times says that China must accept that Chinese consumers, as well as those in developed countries, "have the right to know what they are buying and deserve to be protected from dangerous products".

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