Thursday, August 7, 2014


If you're thinking Chinese,
Limit thoughts to restaurants


Once more Chinese "quality" is making headlines.

The Sacramento Bee reports under a headline reading Senate report: Caltrans ‘gagged and banished’ Bay Bridge critics that

A California Senate report released Thursday said that Department of Transportation managers “gagged and banished” at least nine top experts for the new $6.5 billion San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge after they complained about substandard work by the Shanghai, China, firm that built much of the span.

Many experts questioned the durability of the new span and predicted that it would require retrofitting well ahead of its planned 150-year lifespan, but none said that defects make the structure unsafe in a large quake or during normal use, as other experts have warned.

Meanwhile, the Miami Herald headlines New suit claiming Chinese drywall destroyed homes over Associated Press copy out of New Orleans that reads:

Lawyers for people who say their homes were wrecked by defective drywall made in China have filed a new lawsuit against the manufacturers and a new defendant — the Chinese Cabinet agency that oversees the country's biggest state-owned companies.

The AP story continued:

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday, two weeks after U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon held Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd. and related defendants in contempt of court for ignoring court proceedings over harm done by the drywall. He ordered them to pay $55,000 in fines and attorneys' fees, and to stop doing business in the United States or pay one-quarter of its profits for the year of the violation.

The new lawsuit adds to the list of defendants China's State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. It is being sued as a parent of China National Building Materials Group Corp., attorney Lenny Davis said..

While the dry wall issue is not new, it's noteworthy that Judge Fallon held Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd. and related defendants in contempt of court for ignoring court proceedings over harm done by the drywall.

Not only did the Chinese sell us dry wall that damaged our homes, but they now thumb their collective noses at the U.S. legal system.

Chinese products are becoming synonymous with shoddy workmanship and often dangerous products.

    Dry wall.

    Flammable children's clothing.

    Food products.

    Lead paint on toys.



What next?

Maybe the reputation of several U.S. and Israeli businesses recently acquired by the Chinese - Smithfield Foods, the folks known for hams and other pork products - and Tnuva, an Israeli company that manufactures dairy products.

To be fair, the blame does not fall entirely on China. When products from any country are imported into the U.S. the obligation to assure the products are safe and to specification falls first on the importer and then on the organizations that place their labels on the items or sell the items from their stores.

Years ago, when Japanese products had a less than enviable reputation, Honeywell imported Pentax cameras. Honeywell inspected each Pentax that carried the Honeywell name to assure a quality level it required for its products. I bought a Honeywell Pentax H3v SLR (with a loan from the Titusville Star-Advocate) and used it for years before giving it to a friend . . . who later gave it to his son-in-law who later, as I understand it, gave it to his daughter. Given the price of film and processing, I'm certain it finally was retired and replaced with a digi-cam. Bottom line: Pentax made a good product and Honeywell made sure it met its (Honeywell's) standards.

Admittedly companies such as Mattel, which import small items from China and elsewhere, cannot inspect 100% of all incoming products, but it must at least sample the products to assure they meet U.S. standards.

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