Sunday, July 8, 2007

Danger! Made in China...

I saw this link on recently. Yet another reason to buy locally, buy handmade, buy American... I know a lot of companies and corporations are outsourcing to China because it's cheaper, but perhaps as a consumer you'll think twice before buying that "Made in China" item, especially toys! Check out all the items that are lead contaminated.

On a side note, there are more reasons to think twice before buying "Made in China." I've been reading a book by Isabel Losada lately, "A Beginners Guide to Changing the World." It's about one woman's actions to get involved in changing the world for the better. She highlights her actions in trying to help with and understand the issue of Tibet and China. In the middle of the book, she quotes an excerpt from a book she's been given by Kate Saunders of the Tibet Action Network. It's called "Eighteen Layers of Hell," and it's all about the forced labor camps in China. I want to highlight this, because it's another very good reason to think twice before buying "Made in China."

Suspension by the hands and feet is also common in the labour camps. The "hanging aeroplane" involves suspending prisoners by the arms with their hands tied together behind their back so that the arms are contorted when the prisoners are suspended, causing extreme pain. Suspension can severely damage the muscles and nerves and if prolonged causes dislocation of the arms from the shoulder sockets. On other occasions the guards would grab the prisoners from behind, force their wrists together at the back and yank their arms back and up towards the head, so that the prisoners fall on their knees, as the arms nearly break loose from their sockets. For variation, the wrists could be forced together in front, the arms jerked up over the head and then back in the torture known as the "chicken claws."

"You could be forgiven for thinking that I have scanned the book for the most graphic passage. But I have merely opened it at random. This is what we don't want to know," Ms. Losada explains between passages...

Electric batons are some of the most frequently used torture instruments in Chinese prisons, and they are purchased from trade fairs - sometimes made by European or American companies....At a touch, a shock is released through two prongs at the nozzle of the baton, often emitting a crackling blue light. The batons are shaped in such a way that they can be inserted inside the body, and there is evidence that they have been applied to the soles of the feet, inside the mouth, on the genitals, or inside the vagina or ears of the victims.
I was deeply disturbed by just these two passages, yet there is an entire book full of the torture that occurs in Chinese force labor camps. "Made in China?" Yeah, I'm not interested. Thanks.

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