This editorial appeared in The Bradenton Herald.
Can Americans trust any product made in China?
The list of Chinese consumer products that are turning up tainted grows longer and longer and raises questions about consumer confidence.
The latest case takes the issue to an maddening level — homes poisoned with corrosive and foul-smelling drywall that is forcing families to abandon the buildings out of health fears.
Manatee and Sarasota homeowners are among the more than 50 who have complained to the Florida Department of Health, and the number of homes reporting drywall problems rises daily.
Chinese toys with lead-based paint and pet food contaminated with melamine are two recent threats. News about infant formula laced with melamine — sickening almost 300,000 Chinese babies and killing six — further eroded trust.
Americans deserve stronger protections against tainted products. We expect that from President Obama. The Bush administration's lack of zeal on the consumer protection front, demonstrated by a big reduction in the number of inspectors and investigators, crippled many safeguards.
These homes were built between November 2005 and November 2006 with imported drywall that contains sulfur. Once exposed to moisture, the walls emit a foul odor that also is corrosive to copper wiring and air-conditioning units.
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