Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tainted Government

China's government has become much more adept at public relations over the past two decades, but once in a while they do something so stupid you have to wonder where their brains have gone. Such a misstep is the jailing of consumer protection activist Zhao Lianhai, who fought for compensation for victims of the so-called tainted milk scandal. What the hell were they thinking of? The clear message this sends to the world is that China puts the protection of baby-killers ahead of justice for their victims. That's really going to boost consumer confidence in the safety of Chinese products, isn't it? Idiots!

And while we're on the subject, can we get the vocabulary right? "Tainted" suggests accidental contamination, as in the Perrier case a few years ago. The correct word for deliberately introducing impurities into a product is adulteration.

As for what goes on in the mind of an industrialist who deliberately adulterates their product with a substance they know will be harmful - possibly deadly - to consumers, I have no idea. It's common enough to put profits before people, but at the cost of their lives? It's ironic that many of the worst excesses of capitalism now seem to occur in the world's largest "socialist" country.

No comments: