Saturday, April 11, 2009

Add Drywall to Long List of Dangerous Chinese Products

Two countries have no clue about quality, buying America and producing China. The latest toxic product from Asia is sulphur infused sheet rock. Home builders widely used Chinese drywall from 2004 to 2008, a time when domestic supplies were short. Unsuspecting new home buyers find themselves with walls reeking of rotten eggs. Emissions can blacken a shiny copper pipe in a matter of months. The Associated Press reported on the Chinese response:

The Chinese ministries of commerce, construction and industry and the Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Chinese news reports have said AQSIQ, which enforces product quality standards, was investigating the complaints but people in the agency's press office said they could not confirm that.

The cheap dollar extender blows up yet again. Bad ingredients in drywall can ruin the value of a whole house, maybe 100,000 of them. It's similar to tainted heparin destroying a cardiac surgery procedure, even killing the patient.

Food borne illnesses are up, according to the CDC. One factor is the internationalization of the food supply, the rise in imports. Count me as one who wants no Chinese ingredients in my food or medicine. But I don't get information to make proper choices. Corporations and the U.S. government won't insure quality products enter our country.

Management theory in America and China works against producing quality products. Both substitute less expensive ingredients to grow profits and maximize executive incentive compensation. Both drive in fear, when not bribing people.

How many U.S. jobs went to China? Over 2 million during the Bush years. That was the first order of substitution. The second order came from Chinese innovators. Only their profit driven ingenuity killed and sickened people. The list of dangerous products includes tires, toothpaste, children's toys, pet food, milk, infant formula, heparin, cough syrup, toothpaste and drywall.

Transformation of management is needed. Abysmal leadership, ranging from our hallowed halls of government to corporate board rooms, is responsible. Until that changes, it's buyer beware. The Obama administration is as clueless as the Chinese AQSIQ. President Obama wants to spread the management toxin of "pay for performance" to education and healthcare. Expect more dangerous substitutions.

Update: In toxic drywall lawsuits "Chinese entities who were sued never responded in U.S. court." Global manufacturers are unaccountable for their dangerous products.

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