Halloween is just round the corner. And while stories of unscrupulous people putting razor blades or needles into children’s candy are largely the stuff of urban legend, this year there is genuine reason to worry about what the little goblins are eating.
Some candies produced in China and sold in the US have been found to contain a toxin called melamine. I’d heard candy was bad for you, but come on! The life-threatening substance was used as filler by unscrupulous manufacturers in an effort to boost production. Is it possible these melameanies are even more fervent free market capitalists than some of their Western counterparts?
The candy poisoning follows closely on the heels of the deaths of several Chinese children who drank milk tainted with the same substance. Milk? Children’s milk, Mandrake? (Perhaps in a vastly overpopulated country – which includes many, many abandoned girls – the responsible companies see themselves as providing some perverse social benefit?)
Some of the people involved in the production of the tainted goods (I use that term loosely) have been arrested. I never thought I’d say this about that Great Land of Oppression (GLOP), but at least China has some accountability. Over here bad products result in civil lawsuits. I’m not convinced, though, that the criminal route is wrong; meaning, if industrialists thought they could actually face jail (rather than a financial penalty they would simply never pay), would they be more concerned with the safety of their products?
One thing is certain – there are real monsters in the world. Many of them live in China. Don’t go swallowing anything with the "C" word on it.