It can’t be denied that China has been the center of attention for big multinational companies in recent years. In the Philippines, several manufacturing operations of multinational companies were either shutdown, or downsized – limited only to certain products, and most were transferred to China due to these simple reasons: Labor and raw materials cost are cheaper, thus reducing production costs and therefore increasing PROFITS.

While the move maybe a prerogative of each company concerned, however, with the recent issue on risks to health on certain products from China, it is high time our government be serious in its campaign of protecting its citizens against such dangers and from these “irresponsible” traders and manufacturers who are only after profits and are totally disregarding consumer safety.

Many years ago, a popular shoe/apparel company was criticized by many for transferring most of its production in China and later found out that it was employing minors/children and were not even given proper safety gears and were subjected to excessive working hours with very low pay. And several months back, a popular US toy maker was forced to recall thousands of toys made from China, after it was discovered that one of the components used to assemble the toys posed dangers to kids’ health.

And who knows that tasty looking apple or banana in your table right now was sourced in China and was wiped with “formalin” or formaldehyde, a chemical used to preserve cadavers, to make it fresh looking for a longer time? That isn’t a wild idea knowing that some “genius” in China found out that Melamine is rich in protein thus it makes a good ingredient for milk and dairy products? We are not trying to dis-credit China here, but if the claim is true that the Chinese authorities were aware of this long before the news broke out, then every one should be cautious on everything that comes from China.

It is better to be safe than sorry. Our government should therefore require all Manufacturers, not just the likes of Nestle or multinational companies, but also local companies, to declare which products are using ingredients or components from China. Every citizen should be given the right to be informed, and let them decide for themselves should they purchase those products or not, until they are tested and verified to be safe for consumption or usage.

We also appeal to every manufacturer, to make their share of public service by letting every consumer know which products have ingredients/components from China – just like what the Aviation authorities do when an airplane crashes – all aircrafts of the same built/model are immediately grounded.

Right now, testing and verification is extended to include not just milk and dairy products from China, but also flour. Flour and Milk are two of the most common food ingredient – and if you try to list down which products were derived from these two ingredients, you will be surprised it will almost include everything you have in your kitchen and refrigerators right now – mayo, creams, chocolates, cookies, candies, ice creams, sundaes, tortilla chips, corn chips, noodles, yughort, sliced bread, pan de sal – the list would be very long.

And how about those fruits and vegetables from China? Toys – there’s a lot of them in every bangketa, fake rolex and other watches, fake lacoste polo shirts, nike shoes, etc – who knows those have components that would eat your skin and cause cancer? I might be over reacting and this might not be helping, but think again. In a recent Hollywood action movie, the lead actor furiously confronted a gang boss and told him that the next time he sends an assassin to kill him, “make sure he’s not using a gun made in China”. Talk about “chinafied.”

For China to remain competitive in the world, they must ensure their produce comply to the health and safety standards of the world. While probably the Chinese government is doing something to rectify this mess (hopefully), governments of countries should make safety of its citizens be its first priority. Unfortunately, our government agencies were not that quick and pro-active in releasing the lists of products from China. Let’s do our share and help ourselves – let’s make our own List of products from China, or products with ingredients/components from China.

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