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Capitalists take advantage of Chinese farmers

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Post 21 Apr 2004, 21:23
China Blames Fake Milk in Infant Deaths
SHANGHAI, China (AP) - Dozens of infants fed fake milk formula have died in the last year in eastern China, sparking the latest consumer crisis in a country where counterfeit products ranging from car brakes to medicine have flooded markets, state media reported Tuesday.
Most of the widely reported deaths were in and around the city of Fuyang, and nearly all the victims were children of impoverished, poorly educated farmers who fed their infants baby formula that had almost no nutritional value.

The results were heartbreaking: Some year-old infants were only half the usual size for children their age. Others were months old but weighed less than when they were born.
The deaths have prompted demands from Premier Wen Jiabao for a ``thorough investigation and severe punishment'' of the formula's manufacturers, according to the Web site of the official China Daily and other media.
The State Food and Drug Administration has sent a team to Fuyang, in the impoverished inland province of Anhui, to find out who made and sold the formula, the reports said.

Up to 200 babies who were fed the formula developed what doctors called ``big head disease,'' causing the infants' heads to grow abnormally large while their bodies wasted away. Some babies died within three days of being fed the formula, while others were hospitalized after parents discovered their children were sick.

The descriptions matched symptoms of edema - swelling caused by an excess of fluid - which is a common feature of starvation.

The reports said that from April last year, about 50-60 infants died from malnutrition after being fed the formula. That number could rise once investigations are completed, the reports said.

Cases of fake baby formula have also plagued better-off countries. In November, German authorities opened a criminal investigation against an employee of Humana Milchunion, a German company that made a kosher baby formula linked by Israeli authorities to two infant deaths.

Humana Milchunion said an error in developing the formula left the soy-based milk substitute with less than one-tenth of the advertised quantity of vitamin B1, which is vital for the development of babies' central nervous system.

The Israeli Health Ministry officials say more than 20 infants suffered from a disorder caused by a deficiency in the vitamin after drinking the formula, and two died.

The Chinese government's tough action underscores its sensitivity over the rampant - and sometimes dangerous - piracy of products, from brake pads to alcohol to medicine. Chinese with little money and understanding of the risks are the most common victims of such products.

The fake formula was purchased from shops in Fuyang, a city in Anhui where farmers scrape by on incomes of about $240 a year.

In some of the formula, the protein accounted for a mere one-hundredth of the total amount, or about one-eighteenth of the standard content, said a specialist with the Fuyang Health Department's Food Supervision Bureau. Important minerals such as iron and zinc were absent, said the specialist, who declined to give her name.

She said the cheats had taken advantage of rural consumers' naivete about health and consumer issues.

``Rural people are very vulnerable. They don't ask for receipts, don't suspect the authenticity of products, and are more liable to be cheated,'' she said.

Approval seals and other documentation on packaging was usually false, she said. Letters to manufacturers were returned because they invented addresses listed on packaging, she said.

Local officials who raided markets in Fuyang over the weekend seized thousands of bags of suspect formula, including products without health board approval stamps or those that had passed their use-by date. Most listed factory addresses far from Anhui, reports said.

Inspectors recorded at least three dozen different brands of fake formula, the reports said. One, Aumeng Brand, purportedly from the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, sold for just $1 a bag, but contained just one-sixth the standard protein content, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

What exactly happened the the socialism that used to exist in China? How does this happen in a 'communist' country? What always pulls countries back towards capitalism.
Post 22 Apr 2004, 00:47
Post 24 Apr 2004, 13:09
Farmers reclaim 'wasteland' as grain price soars
Post 25 Apr 2004, 12:44
yep........... thats pretty mean of those people

Post 30 Apr 2004, 04:49
That's nothing, it's commonplace.

A few years ago, of what I do recall, there was an entire school given toxic soymilk -- students who refused to buy it, were not allowed to attend, and of course, it had side effects, which I recall included many deaths, but my memory fails me here.

China is the new .com capitalist quick-buck area.
There's alot of cheap, easy money, to be made there-- and wealthy Chinese businessmen aren't missing this oppertunity.

The only thing that keeps it from being an _international_ capitalist paradise, is it's authoritarian, strong, centralized, and more-or-less fascist government, which keeps a sizeable income for itself.

Anyone who has doubts about China's capitalist tendancies should look no further than the political marriage of the premier's daughter to a wealthy chinese-american CEO.
Post 30 Apr 2004, 05:40
ok, toxic soymilk........... i just had an idea!
Post 17 May 2004, 20:11
Before China can sustain prosperous socialism with decent welfare it would need a population of about half a billion. Not over a billion. Only then would it be able have the materials to support the people with a better life.

It saddens me to see China and a so called socialist country exploit its people to the benefit of the capitalists. But the people themselves have to realise the importance of family planning. The one child policy since its implementation has failed. The population was meant to stablise and then decline but instead it continues to grow quite rapidly.
Post 18 May 2004, 06:32

Whatever, if you want to believe that China is socialist in any way other than it's sheep's cloak, go ahead. Everything else, including logic and intelligence, indicates that they ain't.
Post 18 May 2004, 22:35
I'm quite aware China is no longer a socialist country and has infact become a favourite of capitalists of all over the world.

Yet with such a high population what can you do? It forces you to trade with the capitalists so you can bring in the imports to help sustain so many people.

How about this, I consider myself to be a real socialist but if I was leader of China I too would consider playing the capitalist card until the population declined through birth control programs. Even Lenin had his NEP project which shows that sometimes you have to be pragmatic. The capitalist trade also gives easy access to technology. In fact, If i was leader of China I would play the capitalists for a ride and once the population fell to half a billion I would re-announce myself and the country as a real socialist state and begin pushing in real socialist measures such as health care and housing for all and decent work for all.

However, I have lost faith that China is secretly harbouring a similar secret agenda. Their leaders are just a load of sell outs but my point is, prosperous socialism is not possible in a country with so many people.
Post 18 May 2004, 23:07
Boris, there was no need to restore capitalism in China... they were doing just fine on the socialist road. There is no excuse- no justification- for capitalist restoration. The NEP was something a very unique situation and even then it was not capitalist restoration in the sense of what has happened in China since 1976.
Post 18 May 2004, 23:56
Perhaps it is so. I am just skeptical that China can produce enough goods for a billion citizens under socialism. A socialist state alone in a capitalist world would find itself largely isolated and have to depend on the resources within its own country with few significant trading partners. There would be risk of large scale famine and little support from outside, if a bad harvest was to occur.

Too many people can be an assett to some, but I see it as a liability. Its all part of a greater problem to do with the population explosion and the issue has many ties to the concerns of the greens and environmentalists.

HG Wells once wrote that 2 billion would be the ideal population for a Utopian planet Earth. China alone has over half that number. A Utopian lifestyle is largely dependent on enjoying the benefits of technology and harmoy with the environment but to sustain so many China, regardless of the political system is only going to harm its environment in an effort to cater for so many people.
Post 19 May 2004, 00:05
Communists must put human beings first, and serve human needs through science and technology.

For instance, the Soviet first 5-year plan went a long way toward transforming Soviet Russia from a feudal peasant nation to an industrialized nation with an acculturated, socialist working class. There was pollution to be sure! Globally, as we deal with the lopsided development under imperialism, it is certain that "wilderness" will be replaced with industry in the oppressed nations. If this is development led by the people, it's a good thing.

Mao Tse-Tung did not believe that China's vast population was a problem. He saw the Chinese people as a national treasure, and the greatest resource. The question is always how to mobilize resources for the common good. Remember, as Marx pointed out, it's because the capitalists cannot do this that they are doomed. Communism means common abundance necessary to be truly human. Without giving in to "goulash communism," this should be the strategic perspective guiding environmental/population issues.

Progress and growing population under capitalism = destruction of the earth

progress and growing population under socialism = no problemo
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